The Hungarian Parliament removes the last obstacle to Sweden joining NATO

The Hungarian parliament overwhelmingly approved Sweden’s candidacy to join NATO, clearing the way for it The Nordic country’s entry into the alliance after almost two years of intensive negotiations and a geopolitical blow for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Hungarian parliament’s approval was the last obstacle for Stockholm to join NATO, after Turkey also said yes a few weeks ago. Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson visited Budapest on Friday to discuss defense and security cooperation with his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban. The two sides appeared to reconcile and agreed to a deal that would see Hungary purchase four new Swedish-made Gripen fighter jets.

Of the 194 parliamentarians who voted, only six rejected Sweden’s accession. “Today is a historic day,” Kristersson wrote in X shortly after the vote. “Sweden is ready to assume its responsibilities in matters of Euro-Atlantic security.”

Sweden will officially join the alliance after submitting the accession document to the US government. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has confirmed that Sweden will join the alliance after all allies agree to join. “Sweden’s membership will make us all stronger and safer,” he said.

With the accession of Sweden NATO will include 32 countries among its members, an ironic twist given that Russia began its war against Ukraine in part because of the alliance’s growth in Eastern Europe. along the Russian border.

Last year, Finland became NATO’s 31st member, extending the alliance’s border with Russia by around 1,300 kilometers (830 miles). As NATO countries, Finland and Sweden enjoy protection under Article 5 of the treaty establishing the alliance, which states that an attack on one member is considered an attack against all.

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