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Budapest Urges Sweden to Stop 'Insulting All of Hungary' if They Want Their NATO Bid Accepted

CC BY 2.0 / Neil / Parliament Building, BudapestParliament Building, Budapest
Parliament Building, Budapest - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.03.2023
Hungary has said that the "habit" of Finnish and Swedish politicians to question its democracy is "really unacceptable". However, the Hungarian parliament is ready to vote on Finland's NATO bid after receiving "reassurance" that these problems will not persist. Conversely, a vote on Sweden's bid is not even planned.
Hungarian politicians expect Sweden to refrain from what they see as unfounded criticism of Budapest. A declaration to this effect is needed for Hungarian MPs to accept Sweden's bid to join NATO, Balazs Orban, chief of staff for the Hungarian Prime Minister, has said.

"Some Hungarian MPs don't feel comfortable because they have witnessed in recent years certain members of the Swedish government making a habit of continually questioning the state of democracy in Hungary. They keep insulting Hungarian voters and MPs, and, through them, the whole of Hungary," Orban told Hungarian media.

He stressed that Budapest doesn't voice its opinion of Swedish domestic political affairs and expects the same courtesy from Sweden concerning Hungary.
Today, the Hungarian parliament is expected to vote on Finland's entry into NATO. By contrast, a vote on the Swedish bid is not even planned.

Balazs Orban said that Hungary and Finland have a "unique historical friendship" and that it is confident problems will be solved on that front.
"It seems that we have managed to get reassurance from the Finns that these problems will not persist, but in case of Sweden there is a different situation," he said.
Only last week, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said the West's criticism of democratic and cultural issues in Hungary hinders cooperation, especially when it comes to NATO expansion.
"You know, when Finnish and Swedish politicians question the democratic nature of our political system, that’s really unacceptable," Szijjarto said, adding that it was hard to predict when Sweden's membership would be approved.
Finland and Sweden launched a joint bid to join NATO after the start of Russia's special operation in Ukraine, abandoning their long-held policy of non-alignment. So far, they have struggled to gain full acceptance, as all 30 members of the bloc have to agree, and Hungary and Turkiye have resisted admitting them.
Flags of Finland, left, NATO and Sweden, right, are displayed during a ceremony to mark Sweden's and Finland's application for membership in Brussels, Belgium, Wednesday May 18, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.03.2023
Swedish Prime Minister Says Finland Will Join NATO Earlier Than His Country
After a protracted debate accompanied by a relentless charm offensive from both the Nordic countries, Budapest and Ankara have announced their readiness to ratify the Finnish bid only - not the Swedish one. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said earlier this year that Stockholm should not count on Ankara's support for its NATO bid because of the recent Quran-burning protests in Sweden.
Hungary, however, is in the midst of a protracted spat with the EU. Brussels has frozen billions destined for Budapest and accused Prime Minister Viktor Orban of eroding media freedom and undermining the EU's fundamental values. In a resolution, the European Parliament stamped Hungary as a "hybrid regime of electoral autocracy". According to Szijjarto, remarks such as these make it hard for Hungary to support Finland and Sweden's bids to join NATO.
Hungary, bordering Ukraine, has also diverged from the EU in its response to the Ukrainian conflict. Budapest has blocked arms shipments to Kiev from its territory and struck energy deals with Moscow.
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