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Finland awaits Hungary’s vote to join NATO

Finland’s NATO membership will be approved in a vote later this month, according to a statement released by Hungary’s ruling party on Friday.

According to a statement from the head of the ruling Fidesz Party, Máté Kocsis, the group will vote unanimously in favour of Finland’s bid on March 27.

The group would decide later on Sweden’s request to join the military alliance, according to Kocsis.

Turkey and Hungary have been the remaining obstacles preventing the entry of both Nordic countries; however, earlier on Friday, Turkey announced that it would approve Finland’s membership.

Western officials had generally considered getting Turkey’s blessing the most significant hurdle to NATO expansion.

More background: Finland announced its intention to join NATO in May, along with Sweden, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused a sudden shift in attitudes toward joining the bloc.

That announcement was welcomed by almost all of NATO’s leaders, but under NATO rules just one member state can veto a new applicant’s membership.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan put a spoke in the wheel when he said he was not looking at both countries joining NATO “positively,” accusing them of housing Kurdish “terrorist organizations.”

Friday’s announcement clears the way for Finland’s accession, but Sweden’s application has been stalled by Ankara’s accusations, which Sweden denies.

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