Hungary ratifying Swedish, Finnish NATO bid no surprise: expert

Hungary will provide 187 mln EUR in financial aid to Ukraine as its contribution to a planned EU support package. Prime Minister Orbán also said today that Hungary will be ratifying NATO membership for Finland and Sweden within a month. Gáspár Keresztes from the Wacław Felczak Polish-Hungarian Cooperation Institute was TVP World’s guest invited to talk about Hungarian policy in the face of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

For months Hungary has been seen as insufficiently supporting Ukraine, and the continued commercial ties the country has with Russia have even led to many accusing it of being pro-Kremlin.

On Thursday, Hungarian PM Orbán announced Hungary will support Sweden’s and Finland’s bid to join NATO, the second-to-last alliance to do so. Asked where this shift came from, Mr Keresztes answered that in the case of NATO expansion, it is hardly a shift, as the bill was ready earlier in November. He did say, however, that Poland’s diplomatic efforts during the V4 summit may have contributed to moving the legislative process forward.

Other matters discussed by Mr Keresztes: Hungary’s problems with securing EU funds while Brussels freely gives money to Ukraine; should Budapest expect backlash from the Kremlin now; how badly were Hungary’s relations with other V4 countries damaged by Orbán’s reluctant stance on Ukraine; and how will the Russo-Hungarian co-operation in the energy sector look now?

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