Finland and Sweden’s applications for NATO membership are still being blocked by Hungary and Turkey, the only two NATO states to have not yet ratified their accession bids into national law.
To get a better understanding of Finland’s bid, Hungary sent a delegation headed by the Deputy Speaker of the Hungarian parliament Csaba Hende last week to discuss with Finnish and Swedish MPs- a trip Victor Orbán’s government used to express irritation towards Finland and Sweden for their criticism of the rule of law in Hungary.
However, after some back and forth in different meetings in Stockholm and Helsinki, disagreements were brushed aside, with Finland’s parliament Speaker Matti Vanhanen saying that the conversation had ”helped to clear the air”.
On NATO, Hungarian parties except for one support Finland’s NATO accession and do not want anything in return, Deputy Speaker Csaba Hende has said.
As for a timeline, Hende kept quiet when he was asked whether the accession vote in Hungary would take place on 21 March.
Hungary has ”clearly placed itself as part of the Western camp,” the Chair of the parliamentary group of the National Coalition Party, Jouni Mykkänen, told Ilta-Sanomat.
“They emphasised that this is a blood oath in the making where both parties are willing to sacrifice one’s life to protect the independence of the other. That is why the fundamental alliance between nations must be strengthened, and it must pass the arguments of daily politics,” interpreted Mykkänen the Hungarians.
Commenting on conversations with Ilta-Sanomat, Deputy Speaker Antti Rinne said the Hungarian view had been that both Finland and Sweden give added value to NATO and that Hungary has the same attitude to the NATO membership of both countries.