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Hungarian politician: Orbán risked slowing down Sweden’s request to NATO

There are only two countries standing between Sweden’s membership and Finland’s application for membership in NATO. Turkey and Hungary are the last to agree to the expansion of the defense alliance.

Intense negotiations are underway between Sweden and the two countries. Moderate Ulf Christerson let Magdalena Anderson (S) and outgoing government chief negotiator Oscar Steinström stay in until everything goes smoothly.

After Turkey’s already known counter-claims, all eyes were turned to Ankara. With Hungary, everything seemed to be going well. According to DN sources at the Swedish NATO delegation in Brussels, the country has only shown that it welcomes the Swedish-Finnish request.

But in Hungary, many opposition parties are now questioning why they did not actually agree to the two northern countries joining.

– It could have happened in mid-July, in September and now in October. But Orbán has yet to put it on parliament’s agenda for discussion, says Marton Tombus of the centrist Momentum party.

The biggest opposition party The Democratic Coalition is also among those who are concerned, and demands that the government act, without being heard.

To be ratified, the Hungarian Parliament must debate the issue. Only after it has been processed can the ruling Fidesz party, which has a majority of its own, vote to approve it.

– It can be done overnight, but there is no political will, says prospecting journalist Zabolex Pani.

He is a reporter for the award-winning Pegasus Project, which examined the international monitoring of investigative journalists.

Orban sees that he can use the situation as a lever to gain political influence, he says.

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Opposition politician Marton Tompos is concerned that Hungary is delaying approval.

Photo: private

They voted on Monday Hungarian deputies on the proposal of the Socialist Workers’ Party to put ratification on the parliamentary agenda, but was voted on by Orbán’s majority. On the same day, the far-right Farth Hemland party demanded that the government veto the Swedish-Finnish request.

The problem with Fart Hemland is that it can generally be considered a fake opposition party to Fidesz. Sensitive topics such as NATO resistance are usually outsourced. Sending Urban a balloon might be a test, you never know, says Marton Tombus.

Också i Finland hörs oroade röster. Forskaren Katalin Miklóssy från Aleksanteri-Institutet vid Helsingfors universitet Says The Democrats newspaper said that the ratification of Finland’s request to NATO in Hungary is only an imposed result.

– Pekka Haavisto (Finland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs) came back from Budapest some time ago and said that everything is fine, and that we are waiting for Parliament to start processing the request. But the situation is that Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto already said in May that he is not convinced of Finland and Sweden’s membership in NATO, and that Turkey’s sensitivity in this matter must be taken into account.

Hungarian Foreign Minister In his statement, excavation journalist Zappulex Bani took note of the following:

Urban has repeated it. They say one thing in the context of the European Union, but another thing for the domestic audience. It was clear from day one that Orbán intended to use this situation to create political leverage.

Hungary has on several occasions vetoed joint actions at the EU level, in relation to China and Russia in recent years. Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s use of the Swedish-Finnish NATO to influence EU leaders would seem unbelievable.

– But this is how Hungarian foreign policy usually works. Orbán loves package solutions. Although they are different in organizations, says Marton Tombos, they are closely related.

He does not think the country will come Veto, but this case can be used for their own purposes. The Hungarian economy is currently a financial quagmire with a currency collapsing at a rapid pace in parallel with both multifaceted inflation and high fuel and electricity prices.

– If things go wrong, the country may go into bankruptcy. In that case, Orbán may want to use the NATO case to counter the EU’s money cut, says Tombus.

Anna Weislander, head of the Northern Europe division at the Atlantic Council think tank, believes Turkey and Hungary will eventually ratify Sweden's request for NATO.

Anna Weislander is the Northern European Director of the Atlantic Council. She believes that it is difficult to assess the situation because so far there have been no signs that Hungary will be sideways.

Hungary can be in the shadow of Turkey and wait. But I still think it’s too early to be concerned. If nothing happens until Christmas without us getting clues as to why, it’s going to be really weird, she says.

Nemeth Zolt, politician at Fides and chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, does not want to tell DN when Hungary gives its consent, but says the opposition is unnecessarily alarming.

– We are optimistic about allowing Sweden and Finland to join NATO. If someone wanted to veto it, it would end up on my table, but that’s unlikely.