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HomeBalkansVoting on Sweden’s NATO bid delayed by Hungarian parliament committee

Voting on Sweden’s NATO bid delayed by Hungarian parliament committee

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The Hungarian parliament’s house committee has rejected a proposal to schedule a vote on the ratification of Sweden’s NATO membership for next week, a lawmaker of the opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) party said on Thursday.

After a closed committee session, Ágnes Vadai told Reuters that lawmakers of the ruling Fidesz and Christian Democrat parties on the agenda-setting panel did not support putting the vote on the agenda for next week’s plenary session.

Sweden has set its sights on formal accession to NATO at the alliance’s July 11-12 summit and while it enjoys strong support from other members including the United States, both Turkey and Hungary have so far blocked ratification.

“The House committee has rejected putting the vote on the agenda for next week,” Vadai said, adding that her party would again propose a vote on Monday at a full session of parliament.

Orbán and Erdoğan move in tandem

She said it was “obvious” Fidesz would decide when to schedule the vote depending on Turkey’s stance.

“(Prime Minister) Viktor Orbán moves in tandem with (Turkish President Tayyip) Erdoğan…ignoring Hungarian sovereignty and… breaking the unity of NATO,” she said. “As it stands today, there won’t be a ratification before the NATO summit,” she added.

Parliament’s press office said the agenda of next week’s session would be made public later on Thursday. With Hungary’s ratification process stranded in parliament since last July, Orbán aired concerns about Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership quest – spurred by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – for the first time in February.

Among other criticisms, he has accused both countries of spreading “outright lies” about the health of democracy and the rule of law in Hungary, although Hungarian lawmakers approved Finland’s bid in late March.

Reiterating Turkey’s position, Erdogan told NATO’s secretary general in a phone call on Sunday that Sweden must stop protests by supporters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Stockholm to obtain a green light to join the alliance.

On Wednesday, a Western official told Reuters that NATO allies have accelerated efforts to convince Turkey to lift its opposition to Sweden’s accession but whether they would succeed before the Lithuania summit is unclear.

Source: TVP World

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