Orban: Hungary is in no hurry to ratify Sweden's candidacy for NATO membership

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said last night that his country is in no rush to ratify Sweden's bid for NATO membership, indicating that the Scandinavian country may face further delays in its admission to the military alliance, foreign agencies reported.

During the opening of the autumn session of the Hungarian Parliament, Orbán told MPs that "nothing threatens Sweden's security" and that therefore Hungary is "in no rush" to ratify the country's accession to NATO.

Hungary remains the only NATO member country, apart from Turkey, which has not yet approved Sweden's bid to join the alliance.

The Scandinavian country, along with neighboring Finland, abandoned its long-standing military neutrality after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022 and began realizing its intention to join NATO.

Orban also criticized the Ukrainian government led by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, saying Hungary "will not support Ukraine on any international issue" until the language rights of the large Hungarian minority in western Ukraine are restored.

He also said Hungary had been "cheated" by a European Union plan to allow Ukrainian grain to transit through Hungary after Black Sea shipments were disrupted by the war with Russia, and that shipments of Ukrainian produce supposedly destined for Africa were being sold in Hungary at lower prices, which puts pressure on local producers.

"Brussels claimed that without Ukrainian grain, serious famine threatens African countries. After the war prevented transit through the Black Sea, Hungary opened a solidarity transit corridor at the request of Brussels, so that food could reach Africa from Ukraine via Hungary. Let's say it bluntly: They deceived us," Orbán said.

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