Viktor Orban’s Hungary Approves Sweden’s NATO Bid, Heralding An Historic Expansion

Hungary’s parliament voted Monday in favor of Sweden’s long-delayed bid to join NATO, clearing the final obstacle to a historic expansion of the military alliance and putting an end to an uncomfortable standoff between members.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban addresses the parliament in Budapest, Hungary, February 26, 2024.

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With Budapest at last onboard, Sweden is set to become NATO’s 32nd member, possibly within the week, completing a process that began with Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine and saw Finland joined last year. The addition of the two Nordic countries will bolster the alliance’s capabilities, strengthening its position in the high north and the Baltic Sea — all while sending an important message to Moscow.

“Today is a historic day,” Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “The parliaments of all NATO member states have now voted in favour of Swedish accession to NATO. Sweden stands ready to shoulder its responsibility for Euro-Atlantic security.”

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Hungary’s vote, saying, “Sweden’s membership will make us all stronger and safer.”

Photo Credit: Getty

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