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Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) have called on Hungary to quickly ratify Sweden’s accession to NATO.
With Turkey’s approval of Sweden’s membership last month, Hungary remains the only NATO member yet to ratify Sweden’s entry into the alliance, a process requiring unanimous consent from all member countries.
In a statement, the senators said, “Sweden will bring unique capabilities to NATO that will help the alliance meet both today’s challenges and tomorrow’s threats. Despite its numerous prior public commitments, Hungary is the last remaining NATO member to have not ratified Sweden’s bid and both time and patience are wearing thin. Hungary’s inaction risks irrevocably damaging its relationship with the United States and with NATO.”
In response to the ongoing delays, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has reached out to Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, proposing a meeting that is expected to occur soon, signaling a possible advancement towards resolving the disagreement.
The contention stems from a dispute over Hungary’s democratic practices, with some Hungarian lawmakers accusing Sweden of disseminating “blatant lies” about Hungary’s state of democracy.
This all comes on the backdrop of increased security concerns in Europe, prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022—a move that spurred both Sweden and Finland to seek NATO membership.