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Hungary votes in favor of Finland's membership in NATO

Hungary votes in favor of Finland's membership in NATO

Hungary's parliament on Monday ratified Finland's application for NATO membership. However, Sweden's membership in the military alliance has not yet been voted on.

Finland and Sweden applied to join NATO last year in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. But this process has been hindered by Turkey and Hungary.

Although the Finnish application has already been approved, the Swedish one is still blocked in the Hungarian parliament.

The bill for Finland's accession to NATO was approved with 182 votes in favor and six votes against, after being postponed several times.

Hungary remains the only NATO member country, apart from Turkey, that has not yet approved Sweden's application to join the western military alliance.

NATO requires all 30 countries to ratify membership applications in order to accept other countries.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he had asked Turkey and Hungary to ratify both demands.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last week that Turkey will start the process of ratifying Finland's NATO membership, but not Sweden's.

Ankara opposes Sweden's admission, which it says harbors people it considers members of terrorist organizations.

Finland, Sweden and Turkey in June last year reached a tripartite agreement. Turkey expressed its frustration at what it sees as Sweden's failure to live up to its commitments under the deal.

Ankara suspended negotiations with Sweden after a protest held in January in Stockholm, where a Koran was burned in front of the Turkish Embassy building. But, on March 9, the two countries resumed talks in Brussels.

Erdogan said that Stockholm's membership in the Western military alliance will directly depend on the measures it takes regarding Turkish demands related to terrorism./ REL

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