Hungary's National Assembly (parliament) has approved Finland's NATO membership bid, said the chairman of the session, which was broadcast on the Assembly's website, TASS reported.
"The decision has been made," he announced after the overwhelming majority of lawmakers had voted to ratify Finland's application to join the North Atlantic Alliance. As many as 182 out of 199 Hungarian lawmakers cast their votes in favour of Finland's NATO membership, with six voting against it, TASS reported.
The Hungarian Foreign Ministry's State Secretary, Tamas Menczer, who addressed the debate on behalf of the government, pointed out that the Finnish armed forces were ready to integrate into the bloc's institutions, which would boost the security of all member states.
The Our Homeland nationalist party was the only parliamentary faction to oppose the decision, saying that the move by Russia's neighbouring country to join NATO "is one more step towards a world war."
Six members of Our Homeland suggested that the vote be postponed and Hungary hold nationwide consultations on the issue. They also called for a moratorium on NATO's further expansion, TASS reported.
After Turkey approved the process of ratifying Finland's accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the US last week had welcomed the decision of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and said that America encourage Ankara to "quickly ratify Sweden's accession protocols as well."
In the statement, released by the White House last week, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said, "The United States welcomes President Erdogan's announcement that he will send Finland's NATO accession protocols to the Turkish Parliament and looks forward to the prompt conclusion of that process."
In the statement last week, Sullivan further stated that Sweden and Finland, both countries are strong, capable partners that share NATO's values and will strengthen the Alliance and contribute to European security.
"The United States believes that both countries should become members of NATO as soon as possible," the statement read. Earlier, Turkey approved the process of ratifying Finland's accession to NATO. (ANI)
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