18 Feb – Two US senators from the delegation that will visit Hungary on Sunday will introduce a resolution in the US Congress condemning Budapest for delaying Sweden’s admission to NATO and “backsliding from democracy”, the agency reports. Associated Press with a link to the text of the document.
The US Embassy in Budapest said on Friday that a US congressional delegation would travel to the Hungarian capital on Sunday to discuss “strategic issues” between NATO and Hungary. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto advised American senators not to try to put pressure on Budapest on the issue of Sweden’s admission to NATO, because Hungary is a sovereign country, its deputies do not make important decisions under the influence of foreign delegations.
In the resolution, its authors, Senators Jeanne Shaheen from the Democratic Party and Tom Tilis from the Republican Party, note “the important role that Hungary can play in European and transatlantic security”, but at the same time point out that Budapest “has not joined other NATO member countries in approving accession Sweden into NATO, failing to honor its commitment not to be the last to approve entry, and jeopardizing transatlantic security at a key moment for peace and stability in Europe.”
The senators also condemn Hungary for continuing to maintain relations with Russia and China and “resisting” the introduction of anti-Russian sanctions, as well as for the fact that the Hungarian government has several times extended the state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic crisis and the conflict in Ukraine. a position that gave him more power to make decisions, bypassing parliament.
Earlier, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said that America’s patience is not unlimited; Washington is waiting for Hungary to ratify Sweden’s membership in NATO as soon as possible.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban invited his Swedish counterpart Kristersson to Hungary at the end of January to discuss Sweden’s admission to NATO. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto expressed hope that Kristersson’s visit to the country will help “build trust” between the Hungarian parliament and the Swedish authorities and will lead to the ratification of Sweden’s application to NATO. According to him, it would be more correct if the Swedish Prime Minister visited Hungary before ratification, if only because he visited Turkey.
Orban previously said that the country’s government supports the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO, but members of the Hungarian parliament are not enthusiastic about ratifying it, since the authorities of these countries are spreading “shameless lies” about Hungary.
Finland and Sweden, against the backdrop of events in Ukraine in May 2022, submitted applications to join the alliance. Finland became the 31st NATO member on April 4, 2023. Sweden’s application has not yet received Hungarian approval.