March 01, 2023 09:03 GMT
Parliament Begins Debate On Swedish & Finnish NATO Accession
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The Hungarian National Assembly begins a debate on the ratification of Sweden and Finland's NATO accession, with the governing Fidesz Party of PM Viktor Orban still proving circumspect on both nations joining while they are - in Orban's words - “spreading blatant lies about Hungary, about the rule of law in Hungary, about democracy, about life here." Orban goes on, “How, this argument runs, can anyone want to be our ally in a military system while they’re shamelessly spreading lies about Hungary?”
- The debate will presage a vote on both Nordic nations' membership, due to take place no later than 21 March.
- A number of Fidesz parliamentarians will travel to both Sweden and Finland in the coming weeks, with EU Observer reportingthat "Fidesz has so far named only foreign-affairs committee chairman Zsolt Németh and parliament deputy-speaker Csaba Hende as among those going. Nemeth is known for being more pro-NATO and Russia-critical than Orbán, rather than a loyalist insider."
- Politico reports a Swedish diplomat saying that Hungary's delay in order to gain EU funds tactic will not work because “everyone is getting tired of the same blackmail tactics”. The fact that the process is not just EU but NATO related also risks Hungary drawing the ire of the US gov't, a risky prospect given that the US remains Hungary's primary security guarantor under the NATO treaty.