The end of this week saw a lot of action regarding the protracting process of Finland and Sweden joining the North Atlantic Alliance.
In a Facebook post published on Friday afternoon, Fidesz’s parliamentary group leader Máté Kocsis said his party is backing Finland’s accession and that the vote in parliament to ratify it would be held on 27 March. Kocsis added that as far as Sweden is concerned, the parliamentary group would make a decision ‘later’.
Government spokesperson Zoltán Kovács announced the news in a post on Twitter soon afterwards.
On the same day, 17 March, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced in Ankara that Turkey would consent to the NATO accession of Finland. The announcement came after the Turkish premier held a one-on-one meeting with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö. Erdoğan said the ratification of the Finnish accession may happen before the Turkish elections that will take place on 14 May. At the same time, however, the Turkish leader made it clear that Turkey would not support Sweden joining the Alliance, as Stockholm has still not extradited the 120 individuals Turkey regards as terrorists.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the Turkish decision in a video posted on social media.
The White House was quick to react to the Turkish announcement. A statement by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, issued before the news of Hungary’s ruling party supporting Finnish accession broke, said the United States welcomes the Turkish president’s announcement. Sullivan added that Washington encourages ‘Türkiye to quickly ratify Sweden’s accession protocols as well.’ In addition, Sullivan wrote, the United States urges ‘Hungary to conclude its ratification process for both Finland and Sweden without delay.’ The statement concluded by stressing that ‘Sweden and Finland are both strong, capable partners that share NATO’s values and will strengthen the Alliance and contribute to European security. The United States believes that both countries should become members of NATO as soon as possible.’