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US Senators Call on Hungary to End Blocking of Sweden’s Entry into NATO

The delegation of senators announced that they will submit a joint resolution to the US Congress, which condemns the narrowing of democracy in Hungary and calls on the Orbán government to end the blocking of Sweden’s entry into NATO.

Democratic Senator Gina Shekhin expressed disappointment that none of the representatives of the Hungarian government accepted the invitation to meet with the US delegation, however, she expressed hope that the ratification of Sweden’s admission will be submitted to the Hungarian parliament, which will resume work on February 26.

Democrat Senator Chris Murphy described Orbán’s government’s refusal to meet as “strange and disturbing”, but stressed that if Orbán agrees to ratification, the Hungarian parliament, where Orbán’s Fidesz party has a majority, will also approve it.

The senators’ resolution, which is expected to be submitted to the US Congress and obtained by the AP news agency, emphasizes “the important role that Hungary can play in guaranteeing European and transatlantic security”, but also points to Hungary’s failure to fulfill its earlier promise not to be the last country to ratify Sweden’s admission to the alliance .

At the end of January, after a long delay, the ratification process was completed by Turkey.

As expressed in the resolution, Hungary “has not joined all other NATO members in approving Sweden’s admission to NATO, failing to fulfill its commitment not to be the last to approve such admission and jeopardizing transatlantic security for peace and stability in Europe at an important moment.”

Orbán has emphasized that he supports Sweden’s admission to NATO, however, the “blatant lies” of Swedish politicians about the state of democracy in Hungary hindered the deputies from his party.

Speaking on the state of the country in Budapest on Saturday, Orbán said that “the good news is that our dispute with Sweden is coming to an end.”

“We will advance the ratification of Sweden’s accession to NATO at the beginning of the spring session of the parliament,” he promised, giving hope for an end to the protracted process.

In order for a country to join NATO, it needs the support of all existing members of the alliance. More than a year and a half after Sweden’s application to join the alliance, Hungary is the only one of the 31 NATO member states that has not ratified Sweden’s admission to the alliance. Budapest is delaying ratification because, as the government explains, it is offended by Sweden’s criticism of the rule of law situation in Hungary.

In the resolution of the US senators, Orban is also criticized for increasingly close ties with Russia and China, stating that Hungary is open to Ukrainians fleeing the Russian war, but at the same time it “resists and weakens the European Union’s sanctions against Russia”.

Orbán is considered the Kremlin’s closest ally in the European Union. He has long been criticized for deviating from the bloc’s standards in the areas of democracy and the rule of law, which is why the European Union has withheld billions of euros in funding to Hungary for violations of various norms.

Recently, the Hungarian government has increasingly criticized the US President Joe Biden’s government, accusing the US of trying to interfere in Hungary’s internal life.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijártó welcomed the US senators’ visit on Friday, but insisted that “it is not worth putting pressure on us because we are a sovereign country”. “We are glad that they are coming, because they will be able to see for themselves that everything they read about Hungary in the liberal American media is an outright lie,” declared the minister.

2024-02-19 07:58:08
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