Hungary has still not agreed to the enlargement of NATO to include Sweden | iRADIO

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Delaying the ratification of Sweden’s entry into the North Atlantic Alliance may irreversibly damage relations between Hungary and the United States. Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Thom Tillis stated this on Thursday, Reuters wrote. According to Senator Ben Cardino, who sits on the Foreign Affairs Committee, the question is whether Hungary should remain in the program that allows it to travel without visas for short-term stays.



Washington
7:48 a.m February 2, 2024

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The delay in ratifying Sweden’s entry into the North Atlantic Alliance may irreversibly damage relations between Hungary and the United States (illustrative photo) | Photo: Yves Herman | Source: Reuters

Hungary is the last country of the North Atlantic Alliance that has not yet approved the enlargement of NATO to include Sweden. It is not even clear when that will happen. A meeting of the Hungarian Parliament is being called for Monday at the initiative of the opposition, which could deal with the matter. Turkey, whose approval was also awaited for many months, completed ratification in January.


The Hungarian opposition wants a meeting on Sweden’s accession to NATO. According to the head of the parliament, this is not an urgent matter

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“Partners don’t behave like that,” Senator Cardin said regarding the ratification of Sweden’s entry into NATO. According to him, the question is whether Hungary is a sufficiently reliable ally of the US and whether it should continue to be part of the program that allows Hungarian citizens to travel to the United States for 90 days or less without a visa.

“Hungary’s inaction risks irreparable damage to its relations with the United States and NATO,” said Senators Shaheen and Tillis, who co-chair the Senate Committee on NATO Activities.

Democratic senator Cardin also expressed deep concern about the foreign orientation of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s government. He pointed out that Orbán blocked EU aid to Ukraine until Thursday. The package of long-term financial aid to Ukraine in the amount of 50 billion euros (1.2 trillion crowns) was finally unanimously approved by the presidents and prime ministers of the European Union countries on Thursday in Brussels.

Sweden applied to join the alliance together with Finland in May 2022 in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Finland became a member of NATO at the beginning of last April.

CTK

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