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Shaheen Leads Bipartisan Resolution Concerning Hungary’s Democratic Backsliding and Delayed Ratification of Sweden’s Accession to NATO

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Chair of the Europe and Regional Security Cooperation Subcommittee, Thom Tillis (R-NC), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chair of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced a resolution highlighting Hungary’s democratic backsliding and criticizing its  delay in ratifying Sweden’s accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The resolution comes on the heels of Senators Shaheen and Tillis’ visit to Hungary last week and after Hungary finally voted to ratify Sweden’s NATO membership in NATO on Monday.  

“For too long, Hungary – under Prime Minister Orban’s leadership – has engaged in democratic backsliding not only putting its relationship with the U.S. and NATO at risk, but also threatening transatlantic security,” said Senator Shaheen. “At a critical time when Europe, the U.S. and the world face the most dangerous security threats we have seen in a generation, this resolution sends a clear, bipartisan message that it's time for Hungary to change its course, recommit to democratic ideals and prove it can be counted on as a strong ally and partner to the United States and NATO." 

“Hungary is a valued NATO ally, and it is absolutely essential that they maintain their commitment to the democratic values that all NATO countries share. That is why as co-chair of the Senate NATO Observer Group with Senator Shaheen, we recently traveled to Hungary with Senator Murphy to reaffirm that commitment and urge swift approval of Sweden to become the next member of NATO,” said Senator Tillis. “I applaud Hungary for finally supporting their long-awaited approval, and this vote is a positive step toward the continued partnership of our two countries and commitment to democracy as we combat continued aggression from Russia.” 

“Under Viktor Orban, Hungary has unnecessarily delayed assistance to Ukraine and the expansion of NATO, continuing to demonstrate that it is the least reliable member of the alliance—and of the European Union,” said Senate Foreign Relations Chair Ben Cardin. “Our bipartisan resolution recognizes that Orban’s continued attacks on Hungary‘s democratic institutions is an affront to the dignity of the Hungarian people, and that the United States strongly support Hungarians’ desire to be fully a member of the democratic trans-Atlantic alliance.”

“After a selfish and absurdly manufactured delay, Viktor Orbán’s government finally ratified Sweden’s entry into NATO,” said Senator Durbin. “Hungary can play an important role in the transatlantic alliance, but not if its leaders pledge allegiance to Vladimir Putin.” 

Full text of the resolution is available here. 

Shaheen and Tillis, along with U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), recently visited Hungary where they held a press conference calling for the Hungarian government to ratify Sweden’s NATO accession protocols. Following their visit, Hungary announced its intention to ratify Sweden’s accession to NATO, which occurred on Monday. Earlier this month, Shaheen and Tillis, Co-Chairs of the U.S. Senate NATO Observer Group, issued a joint statement calling on Hungary to immediately approve NATO accession protocols for Sweden.?As co-chairs of the Senate NATO Observer Group, which they re-started together in 2018, Shaheen and Tillis lead bipartisan efforts in the Senate in support of the transatlantic Alliance.