A Hungarian official has suggested that lawmakers may need more time to consider bids by Sweden and Finland to join the bloc
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban reviews an honor guard upon his arrival for a visit to Vienna last July. © Getty Images / Michael Gruber
Hungary, one of only two NATO members that haven’t yet formally approved bids by Sweden and Finland to join the Western military bloc, may need more time than expected for its lawmakers to vote on ratification, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff has indicated.
Budapest had planned to take up the issue in its first parliamentary session of the year, earlier this month, but Orban said on Friday that legislators need more time to discuss the matter. He has accused both NATO aspirants of impugning the soundness of Hungary’s democracy and rule of law with “outright lies.”
The Hungarian National Assembly said as recently as earlier this week that it could hold a final vote on NATO’s proposed expansion during the week of March 6. However, Orban aide Gergely Gulyas told reporters on Saturday that lawmakers may need more time.