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    Hungary’s Parliament Ratifies Sweden’s NATO Bid, Clearing the Final Obstacle to Membership

    Hungary's Parliament Ratifies Sweden's NATO Bid, Clearing the Final Obstacle to Membership

    BUDAPEST, — Hungary's parliament voted Monday to ratify Sweden's bid to join , bringing an end to more than 18 months of delays that have frustrated the alliance as it seeks to expand in response to 's war in Ukraine.

    The vote, which passed with 188 votes for and six against, came as a culmination of months of wrangling by Hungary's allies to convince its nationalist government to lift its block on Sweden's membership. The government of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán submitted the protocols for approving Sweden's entry into NATO in July 2022, but the matter had stalled in parliament over opposition by governing party lawmakers.

    Unanimous support among all NATO members is required to admit countries, and Hungary is the last of the alliance's 31 members to give its backing since Turkey ratified the request last month.

    Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson called it “a historic day.”

    “We stand ready to shoulder our share of the responsibility for NATO's security,” Kristersson wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

    Orbán, a right-wing populist who has forged close ties with Russia, has said that criticism of Hungary's democracy by Swedish politicians had soured relations between the two countries and led to reluctance among lawmakers in his Fidesz party.

    But the vote on Monday removed the final membership hurdle for Sweden which, along with neighboring Finland, first applied to join the alliance in May…

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