Hungary will ratify Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership bid early next year, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced Thursday at a V4 group meeting in Slovakia.
“When it comes to NATO, the government has made the decision and we have informed Sweden and Finland that Hungary supports the membership of these two countries in NATO,” Orbán said.
While other NATO members quickly welcomed Finland and Sweden’s application to join the transatlantic defense alliance after Russia invaded Ukraine, Hungary and Turkey have yet to ratify their accession.
Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin told POLITICO earlier that she does not expect Hungary and Turkey to block NATO expansion, but warned of the risk of delaying accession. Orbán’s chief of staff signaled in October that Budapest planned to give the green light for the expansion of the alliance by mid-December at the latest.
Hungary’s drag on NATO’s expansion plans angered the other V4 members – Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia – who are among Europe’s strongest supporters of Ukraine.