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Hungary approves Sweden bid to join NATO, making country 32nd to join alliance 

Hungary was the lone member nation holdout on Sweden.

Published: February 26, 2024 11:54am

Hungary parliament ratified Sweden’s bid to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in a vote Monday, making the northern European country the latest to join the military alliance.

Sweden, which applied alongside Finland to join the alliance as a result of the Russia-Ukraine, will now be the 32nd member of the defense organization.  

“Sweden’s membership will make us all stronger and safer,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg posted to X.

Hungary was the lone member nation holdout on Sweden.

Sweden's entrance into the alliance still faces a couple steps, including an official invitation by Stoltenberg, then the accession documents will need to be filed with the U.S. State Department, which serves as NATO’s depositary.

Hungary’s approval was 18 months coming, and is seen as a blow to Russian President Vladimir Putin because Hungarian President Viktor Orban is one of Putin’s closest allies. 

Orban’s change his position after meeting Friday with Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, who agreed to supply Hungary with fighter jets.

Orban said the agreement would strengthen the country’s security and encouraged his parliament to approve the bid.

Kristersson welcomed the vote in a statement, claiming it was a “historic day” for the country.

“The parliaments of all NATO member states have now voted in favor of Swedish accession to NATO,” he also said, according to Politico. “Sweden stands ready to shoulder its responsibility for Euro-Atlantic security.”

Sweden also originally faced opposition from Turkey, which argued the country being too “lenient” toward certain groups the country considered a threat to their security. But Turkey officially approved Sweden’s bid in January after concessions were made.

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