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U.S. increases pressure on Hungary to approve Sweden's NATO membership

U.S. increases pressure on Hungary to approve Sweden's NATO membership Photo: U.S. increases pressure on Hungary to admit Sweden to NATO (Getty Images)

High-ranking American legislators want Hungary to quickly approve Sweden's accession to NATO, according to Reuters.

It is noted that Budapest risks causing irreparable damage to its relations with Washington if no action is taken.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ben Cardin expressed "deep concern" about the current direction of the Hungarian government.

"Partners don't do these things. And I am questioning whether they are a trusted ally for our (visa) waiver program," he said at a press conference.

Senators Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, and Thom Tillis, a Republican, who co-chair the Senate's NATO Observer Group, released a statement urging Hungary to change course.

"Hungary’s inaction risks irrevocably damaging its relationship with the United States and with NATO," the senators stated in their address.

As of now, Hungary is the only NATO member that has not approved Sweden's application to join the alliance.

Ratification of Hungary for Sweden's NATO membership

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

On January 23, the Turkish Parliament ratified Sweden's NATO membership application, and on January 25, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan approved this ratification. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban called on his own parliament to take a similar step.

According to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Hungary can ratify Sweden's membership in the alliance when the parliament reconvenes. This may happen at the end of February.