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Hungary is expected to ratify Sweden's accession to NATO

Hungary is expected to ratify Sweden's accession to NATO

Hungary is expected to ratify Sweden's accession to NATO on Monday, February 26, clearing the final hurdle for the Nordic country to take a historic step and become the alliance's 32nd member.

The vote in the Hungarian Parliament is expected to pass smoothly after the visit that the Swedish Prime Minister, Ulf Kristersson, made last Friday to this country, during which Hungary and Sweden signed an arms agreement.

Hungary is the last country that has not yet ratified Sweden's accession to the alliance.

Following the launch of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Sweden, along with Finland, renounced their policy of military neutrality.

Finland became a member of NATO last year, while Sweden has faced ratification delays from Turkey and Hungary, countries that have good relations with Russia.

Turkey asked Sweden to take tougher action against Kurdistan Workers' Party militants based in Sweden in return for ratification of NATO membership.

Sweden changed laws and relaxed rules on arms sales in order to meet Turkey's demands. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has tied the ratification to the approval of the sale of American F-16 jets to Turkey, and now Ankara expects to work with the United States to gain support in Congress for the sale of these fighter jets.

Meanwhile, Hungary's reluctance to ratify Sweden's accession was largely related to Swedish criticism of democracy in Hungary led by nationalist Viktor Orban.

With the acceptance of Sweden and Finland, NATO will mark the biggest expansion since the 90s./ REL

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