Sweden in NATO: "A Historic Day"

Sweden's Prime Minister, Ulf Kristersson (Moderates). (Photo: Ninni Andersson / the Swedish Government Offices)

Hungary said yes, and Sweden can finally become a full-fledged NATO member.

The final obstacle for Sweden's NATO membership has been cleared out of the way and Sweden is ready to become the defense alliance's 32nd member after Hungary's parliament voted yesterday, Monday.

"For the first time in 500 years, the Nordics now have a joint defense," said Sweden's PM Ulf Kristersson at a press conference on Monday.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine two years ago was the drop that made Sweden turn its back on decades of neutrality.

188 of the Hungarian parliament voted in favor, while six voted against. Hungary's PM Viktor Orbán, who has maintained contact with Putin despite pressure from the West, has held back the ratification of Sweden for two years.

Russian threats

A flag-raising ceremony is planned in NATOs headquarters in Brussels later this week, less than a year after Sweden's neighboring country Finland joined the alliance.

Orbàn gave Sweden's PM Ulf Kristersson signals about the approval last Friday, as the two colleagues met in Budapest to sign a defense agreement.

Sweden stands ready to shoulder its responsibility for Euro-Atlantic security.
Sweden's PM Ulf Kristersson

After the countries applied for membership, Russia has threatened both Sweden and Finland with reprisals.

Welcome wishes

Kristersson called Monday a "historic day" on X:

"The parliaments of all NATO member states have now voted in favor of Swedish accession to NATO. Sweden stands ready to shoulder its responsibility for Euro-Atlantic security," said Kristersson.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also took to the platform to welcome the Hungarian parliament's decision and said that "Sweden's membership will make us all stronger and safer."

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said all allies would benefit from Sweden's membership.

"It is good that the Hungarian parliament approved Sweden's accession today," said Scholz.

Also read