By Chris King •
Published: 26 Oct 2023 • 16:51
Image of Swedish PM Ulf Kristersson.
Credit: Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock.com
HUNGARY has again thrown an obstacle in the way of Sweden’s application to join NATO.
Turkey and Hungary are the only two countries still to ratify the Scandinavian country’s entry into the Alliance. President Erdogan recently placed the application before the Turkish parliament in Ankara, but officials in Budapest are now said to be demanding some answers from Stockholm, according to svt.se this Thursday, October 26.
Gergely Gulyás, a Hungarian minister working on behalf of Prime Minister Orbán’s office, was asked in a press conference on Wednesday evening if he stood by his earlier promise that Hungary will not be the last country to approve Sweden.
It would appear from his response that the Hungarian parliament will no longer ratify Sweden’s NATO application before Turkey does.
Gulyás stated: ”We all remember what happened with the Swedish-Hungarian relations in the last few months’. He was referring to the previous criticism directed by Swedish politicians against the development of democracy in Hungary.
‘If they consider their opinion to be a mistake, then it must make it clear. If they think they were right, I don’t know why they want to be in a club with us’, he added, pointing out that in his opinion, the situation had ‘deteriorated’.
In September, Hungarian politicians from the ruling nationalist party Fidesz reacted to a video broadcast by the Swedish Educational Radio in 2019, which described how democracy in Hungary has weakened since Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s party came to power in 2010.
Several Hungarian opposition parties requested on Tuesday 24 that the parliament now schedule a date for the vote on Swedish NATO membership. But on Wednesday, the Speaker rejected the demands.
Swedish PM Ulf Kristersson is currently in Brussels for a few days where he will meet with several EU leaders and Orban is also there. He told SVT Nyheter that he will ‘certainly have time to talk’ with the Hungarian PM.
Speaking with TV4, he commented: ‘I have said many times that each parliament must make its own decisions, I respect that. Each NATO country must make its own decisions. It applies to Turkey and it applies to Hungary’. He added: ‘It’s nothing I can do anything about’.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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