BUDAPEST, Hungary— Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán sent a letter to his Swedish counterpart, Ulf Kristersson, inviting him to Budapest to discuss Sweden's accession into the NATO military alliance, Orbán wrote Tuesday in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The invitation comes as Hungary and Turkey remain the only NATO members not to have ratified Sweden's bid to join the alliance. Admission into NATO requires unanimity among all member countries, but more than a year of delays in Budapest and Ankara have frustrated other allies who want to expand the alliance amid Russia's war in Ukraine.
Orbán, a right-wing populist who has been lukewarm in his support for neighboring Ukraine and maintained a friendly relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, has long promised that Hungary would not be the last NATO member to ratify Sweden's bid.
Last month, the Turkish parliament's foreign affairs committee approved Sweden's accession protocol, moving the Nordic country one step closer to joining the alliance. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lifted his opposition to Sweden's membership last year in response to efforts by Stockholm to tackle supporters of Kurdish militants and other groups in Sweden that Ankara views as security threats.
Erdogan has also openly linked Sweden's NATO membership to Ankara's efforts to purchase U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets, and has called on Canada and other NATO allies to…