Weekly newsletter

U.S. Senate Delegation Optimistic about Hungarian Ratification of Sweden’s NATO Accession

MTI-Hungary Today 2024.02.19.
Democrat Senator Jeanne Shaheen (C) speaking alongside Republican Senator Thom Tillis (L) and Democrat Senator Chris Murphy (R) at the U.S. Senate bipartisan delegation press conference at the U.S. Embassy in Budapest.

On Sunday, three U.S. senators visited the U.S. Embassy in Budapest, including the two Co-Chairs of the Senate NATO Observer Group, Democrat Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Thom Tillis, and Democrat Senator Chris Murphy. The delegation would have included a fourth member, but the Democratic Chris Van Hollen did not attend. They arrived in Hungary to review the strategic issues facing NATO and Hungary.

At the press conference, Jeanne Shaheen stressed that Hungary is the last NATO member state whose parliament has not yet ratified Sweden’s accession to NATO. However, she noted: “I am optimistic and confident that as the Hungarian Prime Minister promised in his annual assessment speech on Saturday, the Hungarian Parliament will ratify Sweden’s accession to NATO at the beginning of the spring session.”

As Magyar Nemzet reports, the tone of the press conference was more conciliatory than had been expected. The fact that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán mentioned Sweden’s accession in his annual assessment on Saturday may have played a role in this:

It is good news that our dispute with Sweden is nearing a conclusion. We are on the way to the ratification of Sweden’s accession to NATO on the first day of the spring session,”

he said on Saturday.

The session starts on Monday February 26.

Democrat Senator Chris Murphy explained that there is no reason for further delay in the Hungarian Parliament on the ratification of Sweden’s NATO membership. “Everyone must recognize that supporting Ukraine will lead to an end to the war. We have had an ongoing dialogue with Turkey, with the government there, on Swedish membership of NATO,” said the Senator.

The senators expressed their regret that they were not received by anyone from the Hungarian government. As they noted, they wanted to discuss the bilateral economic relations, the human rights situation and the upcoming U.S. presidential election with representatives of the Hungarian government. Magyar Nemzet contacted Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó on the issue, who replied that

Hungary is a sovereign country, and we believe that a sovereign country should not put pressure on another, especially when it comes to allies.”

Republican Senator Thom Tillis. Photo: MTI/Koszticsák Szilárd

Responding to questions at the press conference, Thom Tillis said that the United States is committed to Hungary’s independence and sovereignty, there should be no question about that, but Hungary, as a member of the NATO family, should support Sweden’s accession to NATO, as should other members.

“Upon our return home, my colleague Senator Tillis and I, as Co-Chairs of the Senate NATO Observer Group, will submit a statement assessing the status of Sweden’s NATO accession,” Shaheen concluded.

David Cameron Lobbies Viktor Orbán on Behalf of Sweden
David Cameron Lobbies Viktor Orbán on Behalf of Sweden

The British Foreign Secretary is the Hungarian Prime Minister's long lost European partner.Continue reading

Via MTI, Magyar Nemzet; Featured image: MTI/Koszticsák Szilárd

    [1536x1536] => Array
            [width] => 1536
            [height] => 1536
            [crop] => 

    [2048x2048] => Array
            [width] => 2048
            [height] => 2048
            [crop] =>