Hungary Ratifies Sweden's NATO Accession in Landmark Vote

EU | February 27, 2024, Tuesday // 09:12|  views

In a historic move underscoring shifting geopolitical dynamics, the Hungarian Parliament has ratified Sweden's accession to NATO, marking the final approval needed among the 31 member states for the Scandinavian nation's entry into the alliance.

With an overwhelming majority of 188 out of 199 MPs endorsing Sweden's candidacy, the path is cleared for Sweden to officially become the 32nd member of NATO as early as March 1st.

Sweden's journey towards NATO membership commenced in May 2022, a significant departure from its longstanding policy of neutrality spanning two centuries. The catalyst for this strategic shift was the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, compelling Sweden to seek the security umbrella of the NATO alliance.

The pivotal vote in Budapest on Monday follows a diplomatic breakthrough achieved during a meeting between Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristerson and Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orbán. The leaders, signaling a willingness to set aside differences, declared their solidarity by expressing readiness to stand by each other's side. Additionally, a new military agreement was inked, with Sweden committing to sell four Gripen aircraft to Hungary, augmenting the 14 already in possession.

The momentous decision in the Hungarian parliament drew praise from NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who hailed the ratification as a testament to NATO's strength and security. In a statement, Stoltenberg emphasized that Sweden's accession will bolster the alliance, enhancing its collective defense capabilities in an era marked by evolving threats and challenges.

As Sweden prepares to embark on its NATO journey, the accession represents a significant milestone not only for the Scandinavian nation but also for the broader European security landscape. The expansion of NATO's membership underscores the alliance's enduring relevance and commitment to safeguarding stability and peace in the region.

In the face of geopolitical uncertainties and heightened security concerns, Sweden's integration into NATO serves as a reaffirmation of the values and principles underpinning the transatlantic alliance. With all member states now onboard, NATO stands poised to navigate the complexities of contemporary security threats with renewed vigor and unity.

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Tags: Hungary, Sweden, NATO, vote


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