July 20. 2024. 11:14

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Hungarian parliament delays Swedish-Finnish NATO accession vote

Parliament will decide on Finland and Sweden’s NATO accession on 20 March instead of 6 March, delaying accession for another two weeks, according to the new session schedule adopted on Thursday.

In his latest radio interview, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that a dispute had arisen at the Balatonfüred parliamentary group meeting on the issue, so a parliamentary negotiating delegation led by former Defence Minister Csaba Hende and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Zsolt Németh would be sent to the two countries.

It is uncertain whether the proposal would be passed next week, said Momentum MP Dávid Bedő, quoting Fidesz faction leader György Balla who spoke at Thursday morning’s meeting of the House committee.

Momentum MPs hope that after the visits to Sweden and Finland, they will be able to convince a majority of government MPs to vote in favour of accession, Bedő.

Whatever the outcome of the negotiations, the government seems set on backing accession for Finland and Sweden, according to Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó and President Katalin Novák, with Novák calling the accession of the two countries justified.

“I trust that parliament will make a wise decision as soon as possible,” she wrote.

Still, Wednesday’s four-hour-long parliamentary debates were marked by members of the governing parties listing at length how some Finnish and Swedish representatives had “insulted” Hungary.

(Sofia Stuart Leeson | EURACTIV.com with Telex.hu)