Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban praised the new phase with Sweden before voting on its application to join NATO

Balint Zintjalay/NoorPhoto/Getty Images

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson meets with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Budapest.



CNN

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said his country has opened a new phase with Sweden during a joint press conference with his Swedish counterpart Ulf Kristersson on Friday as Budapest prepares to ratify Stockholm's long-awaited request to NATO.

Hungary is the latest member of the military alliance to approve Sweden's application to join NATO, which it submitted in May 2022 after Russia launched its military operation. Invasion of Ukraine.

urban, Who said last week? Kristersson said the Hungarian parliament would vote on the ratification on Monday, and he met with Kristersson on Friday and announced at the press conference that Hungary had purchased four fighter jets from Sweden.

Orban said the Gripen fighter jets would expand Hungary's fleet, “thus significantly increasing our military capabilities and enhancing our ability to play a role abroad.”

He added that the Hungarian Parliament will meet on Monday to decide on the matter, thus closing one stage and opening another.

“As members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), we… [will be] Orban later added: “They are able to rebuild full trust towards each other.”

Sweden and Finland have applied for NATO membership in 2022 and Finland It joined NATO in April 2023, doubling the alliance's borders with Russia. But Sweden's request was mired in challenges.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan object Sweden accused Swedish officials of being too lenient with armed groups, including the Kurdistan Workers' Party.

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Sweden has since tightened its anti-terrorism legislation and pledged close cooperation with Turkey on security concerns.

Orban, who is considered the European Union leader closest to Russian President Vladimir Putin, initially indicated that he was not opposed to Sweden joining the bloc, before he worked to obstruct it. Katalin Cseh, a Hungarian member of the European Parliament, said last year that Orbán ban Sweden's offer was “simply another favor for Vladimir Putin.”

But after Turkey agreed to Sweden's request, Orban seemed to finally give the green light to Sweden's request to join NATO, saying: In January He invited Kristersson to visit Hungary to negotiate the terms of Sweden's accession.

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