Headline RoundupFebruary 26th, 2024

Hungary Ratifies Sweden’s Bid to Join NATO

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Hungary’s parliament approved Sweden's bid to join NATO on Monday after Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán affirmed his support for Sweden’s membership.

The Details: Sweden applied to become a member of NATO in 2022, after Russia began its invasion of Ukraine. However, opposition from Turkey and Hungary delayed Sweden's inclusion. Last month, Turkey backed Sweden’s NATO bid after the US pledged to supply Ankara with F-16 fighter jets. Hungarian governing party members opposed ratification, arguing Swedish criticism of Hungary's democracy strained relations between the two nations. Orbán's approval was the last hurdle needed for Sweden to become the 32nd member of NATO. 

For Context: Sweden's proposed membership was an unprecedented shift in its policy of military non-alignment. Many viewing this move as an essential response considering Russia's ongoing war and aggression in Ukraine. Some, however, see it as further encirclement of Russia by NATO, which Russian President Vladimir Putin has cited as a contributing factor in his decision to invade Ukraine.

How the Media Covered It: Coverage was common and generally similar across the spectrum; some headlines included the word “finally,” emphasizing that Hungary “stalled” the Sweden NATO ratification. Some coverage appeared to potentially reflect partisan attitudes about Orbán, who has been praised by some U.S. conservatives. The New York Times (Lean Left bias) noted that he had “maintained cordial relations” with Putin and used “his country’s veto power over key decisions in Europe to try to extract money or other rewards”; meanwhile, The Daily Caller (Right bias) uncritically repeated the accusation that “anti-Hungarian material” had been taught in Swedish schools. This summary was developed with the help of AllSides' AI technology.

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