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U.S. disappointed with Hungary's delay in ratifying Sweden's NATO accession

U.S. disappointed with Hungary's delay in ratifying Sweden's NATO accession Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary (Photo:
Author: Daria Shekina

The United States government is unaware of the cause behind the delay in Hungary's ratification of Sweden's NATO accession. Washington is disappointed with Budapest's prolonged procedures, states the U.S. Ambassador to Hungary, David Pressman.

The diplomat has mentioned that the NATO alliance is "as strong as the commitments that we make to each other and the commitments that we keep."

"I think that it’s important that the Hungarian government live up to its commitment, and its commitment has been that it will not be the last ally to ratify Sweden’s accession," he adds.

In a conversation with reporters, Pressman directly expresses Washington's position regarding Budapest's somewhat lengthy ratification process.

"We’re disappointed that this has taken so long. And we look forward to Hungary living up to the commitment it’s made to the United States and to its other allies," said the American diplomat.

The ambassador also highlights the deepening diplomatic isolation of Budapest.

"Hungary is really alone – and it doesn’t need to be," he says, citing as an example the "warning signs" of the Hungarian government's decisions to block EU funding for Ukraine, engage in negotiations with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, and resist attempts to diversify from Russian energy.

Hungary's ratification of Sweden's NATO accession

Earlier, Budapest promised not to be the last to ratify Sweden's NATO membership application. However, the voting in the Hungarian parliament has been postponed several times.

It's worth noting that on January 23, the Turkish parliament ratified Sweden's application for NATO membership, and yesterday Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan approved this ratification. On January 24, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán called on his own parliament to take a similar step.

Sweden's accession to the North Atlantic Alliance has been expected for about a year and a half. Earlier, Stockholm planned to join NATO together with Finland, but Helsinki joined the bloc in June 2023, and Sweden's application was ratified by all NATO countries except Hungary.

Additionally, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg believes that Hungary can ratify Sweden's membership in the alliance when the parliament convenes again, possibly at the end of February.