Hungary Ratifies Finland’s NATO Bid, Leaving Sweden Behind

Hungary Ratifies Finland’s NATO Bid, Leaving Sweden Behind

Hungary backed Finland’s accession to NATO, ending months of foot-dragging by Prime Minister Viktor Orban and leaving the Nordic country a step away from joining the defense alliance.

Lawmakers in Budapest voted overwhelmingly on Monday to support Finland’s membership, which would expand NATO toward Russia’s Nordic borders after President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine. Hungary’s move follows Turkey’s decision to support the Finnish bid, though Turkey has yet to ratify that.

While it backed Finland, Hungary kept Sweden’s application on ice in a dispute that Orban’s party has linked to a clash inside the European Union over the rule of law.

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin welcomed the ratification of her nation’s bid, adding on Twitter it was “in everyone’s interest that Sweden will also become a NATO member before the Vilnius summit.”

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