Swedish PM looking forward to meeting Hungary’s Orban as NATO ratification beckons

By Thomson Reuters Feb 19, 2024 | 6:08 AM

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said on Monday that he looked forward to meeting his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban and to Sweden becoming member of NATO, following signals that the Hungary could ratify Sweden’s application this month.

“We have had a few pieces of conversation this week,” Kristersson told a joint news conference with his Polish counterpart during a visit to Warsaw. “I look forward to have the meeting and I look forward to Sweden’s NATO accession.”

Hungarian Prime Minister Orban said last week that the parliament can ratify Sweden’s NATO membership when it convenes for its new spring session later this month, the only remaining parliament in the 31 member alliance to do so.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said it was “unacceptable” that Hungary blocked Sweden’s bid and urged it to be swiftly ratified.

“It would be a mistake for one NATO country to block another country’s entry into NATO,” Tusk said. “Poland and I personally will be ready to give our full support in this matter.”

Sweden applied to join NATO nearly two years ago in a historic shift in policy prompted by Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

(Reporting by Johan Ahlander; editing by Niklas Pollard)