Calamos Supports Greece
GreekReporter.comGreek NewsSweden Set to Join NATO After Hungary Approves Bid

Sweden Set to Join NATO After Hungary Approves Bid

NATO Sweden
Sweden has cleared the last obstacle to become the 32nd member of NATO. Credit: Facebook/NATO

Sweden is poised to join NATO on Monday after Hungary, the last remaining stumbling block, voted to approve its bid.

Sweden’s prime minister called it a “historic day”, while other alliance members expressed relief at the move spurred by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said Sweden would make the alliance “stronger and safer” while the United State, Britain, and Germany welcomed Sweden’s now imminent accession.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that having Sweden in NATO “strengthens our defense alliance and with it the security of Europe and the world”.

Greece also hailed the end of the ratification process.

However, every NATO member has to approve a new country, and Hungary’s vote ended more than a year of delays that frustrated the other 31 nations as Ukraine battled Russian troops.

Turkey and Hungary stalled Sweden’s accession to NATO

Finland joined in April last year, but Sweden’s bid was stalled by both Hungary and Turkey, with Ankara approving Stockholm’s candidacy only last month.

Turkey objected to Sweden and Finland’s 2022 membership request, accusing the countries of being too lenient toward groups that Ankara regards as threats to its security, including terrorist organizations of the PKK and FETÖ members that Ankara blames for a failed coup in 2016. It endorsed Finland’s membership in April last year but, along with Hungary, had kept Sweden waiting, until January 2024.

Hungary then followed on Monday, with 188 parliament members voting in favor and six far-right deputies against. In Hungary’s delay, some experts saw a strategy to wring concessions from the European Union, which has frozen billions of euros in funds because of the nationalist government’s policies.

Sweden to become NATO’s 32nd member

“Today is a historic day… Sweden stands ready to shoulder its responsibility for Euro-Atlantic security,” Sweden’s Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said on X.

Speaking about Russia‘s potential reaction, Kristersson told a press conference: “The only thing we can expect with any certainty is that they don’t like Sweden becoming a member of NATO, nor Finland”.

Going forward, “Nordic countries will have a common defense for the first time in 500 years… we remain friends, and we become allies,” he said.

Hungary’s president is expected to sign the law within days. Sweden, which has been militarily neutral for two centuries, will then be invited to accede to the Washington Treaty and officially become NATO’s 32nd member.

All Baltic nations except Russia will now be part of the alliance.

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni of Italy, which currently presides over the G7 group of industrialized democracies, said Sweden’s entry “reinforced NATO for the defense of peace and freedom on the European continent”.

Alongside its move into NATO, Sweden signed an accord in December that gives the United States access to 17 Swedish military bases.

See all the latest news from Greece and the world at Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow GR on Google News and subscribe here to our daily email!

Related Posts