Hungary's blocking of Sweden's application for NATO membership puzzles and irritates Western officials.
This is reported by Politico based on communication with its own sources and experts.
After months of delays, Hungarian MPs approved Finland's accession to NATO just before Turkey did. But the country continues to postpone the decision on Sweden along with Turkey.
Behind the scenes, officials and experts say that, in addition to domestic political calculations, Budapest's move is related to its ties with Ankara and Moscow.
They note that Western allies take Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban much less seriously than Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Allies do not fully understand Hungary's constantly changing rhetoric on the issue.
One senior European diplomat noted that Budapest's position on Sweden's NATO membership is beyond comprehension. He called Hungary's position an irritating and unimportant trifle.
At the same time, the newspaper notes, while many NATO members consider Turkey an outsider in the Alliance, Hungary sees it as a friend and a role model.
Author - Olena Madiak, 12/04/2023