Foreign affairs institute: Strengthening NATO important to govt, but demands mutual respect

The government considers strengthening NATO an important aim but expects mutual respect from old and prospective member states, the Hungarian Institute of Foreign Affairs (MKI) said in an analysis of Sweden's NATO accession.
21. February 2024 17:21

This is why Hungary has invited Sweden’s prime minister to Budapest, and his visit is expected to pave the way for Hungarian lawmakers to ratify the accession document, the think-tank said, adding that Hungary’s strategy had ended up strengthening NATO while also enhancing its national interests, with an improvement seen in bilateral ties.

During Sweden’s EU presidency, attacks against Hungary were blunted, resulting in the transfer of EU funds withheld from Hungary, it said.

One outcome of Hungary’s imminent ratification could be the signing of “an extremely favourable military deal” for Hungary which includes Gripen fighter jets.

The MKI also emphasised that in parliamentary democracy such as Hungary’s, it was normal for elected members of parliament to consider a momentous ratification request for months before debates and a final vote.

The institute also referred to “misleading and baseless information” in the Swedish media that the Swedish government did little to counter as a further reason for Hungary’s initially “cool” attitude to the matter.

The think-tank said “intense negotiations” were under way between Sweden and Hungary regarding the accession, and, noting that the current Hungarian Gripen contract will soon expire, the talks also cover an arms and military industrial deal which includes renewal of the Gripen programme.

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