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Sweden’s accession to NATO is not “urgent” for Hungary

Sweden’s accession to NATO is not “urgent” for Hungary

As Sweden seeks to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban rejected his country’s quick ratification. “I wonder if there is anything urgent that would force us to ratify Sweden’s candidacy,” Orban told parliament in Budapest yesterday. “I cannot recognize such a circumstance.”

Orban added that Sweden’s security is not threatened in any way. The Prime Minister also called on Stockholm to stop the policy of “smearing” and regular statements about Hungary’s violations of the rule of law.

Orban said Hungary had the right to “first demand respect from Sweden” before “preparing for a positive decision” regarding its membership in NATO.

Budapest’s criticism of Sweden has escalated in recent weeks after a 2019 video shown in schools that talked about “democratic backsliding” in Hungary emerged. In a letter, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjártó accused his Swedish counterpart of spreading “serious accusations and false information” in schools.

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