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Bucharest Nine Summit kicks off with all eastern flank Presidents attending. Iohannis: B9 format meeting is more relevant than ever in the context of the war in Ukraine

President Biden to NATO leaders meeting in Bucharest: US pledges to defend eastern flank

President of Romania Klaus Iohannis and his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda, the initiators of the Bucharest Nine (B9) format, received on Friday at the Cotroceni Palace the participants in the B9 Summit.

The Presidents of Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia and Bulgaria are physically present in Bucharest, while the Presidents of the Czech Republic and of Slovakia participate online.

Secretary General of the North Atlantic Alliance Jens Stoltenberg will also attend remotely.

Klaus Iohannis and Andrzej Duda delivered speeches in the opening of the Summit’s plenary session.

After that, the two Presidents had  joint press statements scheduled.

According to the Presidential Administration, the Bucharest 9 Summit meeting is of particular importance, especially in the current security context generated by Russia’s illegal, unjustified and unprovoked aggression against Ukraine and the common and multidimensional challenges facing the eastern flank states, as well as the entire Euro-Atlantic region.

The agenda of the meeting envisages the preparation of the most important decisions of the NATO Summit to be held in Madrid over June 28-30, and will address as a matter of priority the consequences of Russia’s illegal military aggression against Ukraine and the Alliance’s response thereto.

President Klaus Iohannis will emphasize in this context the need to strengthen the deterrence and defense stance along the eastern flank, in a balanced and unitary manner, from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, the Presidential Administration states.

The B9 format is an initiative launched in 2015 by President of Romania Klaus Iohannis and the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda, that brings together the 9 NATO member states on the eastern flank of the Alliance: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary. B9 is a particularly useful platform for the effective coordination and consultation among eastern flank allies, as well as at transatlantic level.

The first B9 Summit was organized in Bucharest in November 2015.

 

President Iohannis: B9 format meeting is more relevant than ever in the context of the war in Ukraine

 

Addressing on Friday the plenary session of the Bucharest Nine (B9) Summit, President Klaus Iohannis said that in the context of the war in Ukraine this meeting is more relevant than ever and that the solidarity of dialogue and cooperation make the foundation of the common strength.

“The Bucharest 9 format provides a clear added-value in forging cohesive messages and ensuring coordinated approaches of the nine eastern flank allies, but also at transatlantic level, regarding the security of our Alliance as a whole. This meeting is more relevant than ever from at least two perspectives. First, the dramatic regional developments which claim our heightened attention and coordination. Solidarity, dialogue and cooperation are the fundamentals of our common strength. Today’s agenda will, thus, address the current security developments in Ukraine and their impact on the larger neighbourhood, including other vulnerable partners, such as Georgia and the Republic of Moldova, but also on the allied security as a whole,” the Romanian head of state said.

Iohannis also pointed out that Romania is the NATO member state with the longest border with Ukraine.

“Since February 24, we are facing a completely new security reality in the region. We are going through a crucial moment for the Euro-Atlantic region, and especially for us, the NATO countries on the eastern flank. Romania is the NATO ally sharing the longest border with Ukraine, but we all have an acute sense of the threats the Euro-Atlantic space is facing as a consequence of the illegal and immoral Russian war of aggression against Ukraine,” said the Romanian President.

He went on to point out that at the NATO Summit in Madrid due at the end of the month, a new long-term vision will be adopted through the Alliance’s new Strategic Concept.

“It is a momentous time as we chart the path for the Alliance at least for the next decade. At the end of this month, we will adopt, at the NATO Summit in Madrid, decisions of great impact for our present and future security. We will shape up a common long-term vision through the new Strategic Concept, putting collective defense and Article 5 at the core of our actions and implementing a significant transformation of our deterrence and defence posture, especially on the eastern flank, as we decided on March 24 in Brussels,” the head of the state said.

According to the President, the reinforcement of NATO’s posture along the entire eastern flank in a unified and balanced manner is becoming an urgent necessity.

“As the security risks for Romania and the Black Sea region are increasing, the consolidation of NATO’s posture on the eastern flank in its entirety, in a unitary and balanced manner, especially in the southern part of the eastern flank, is even more urgent and crucial. I trust that the B9 unity and common approach will facilitate the ongoing allied negotiations, as well as the NATO decision-making process. It is for us to deliver the security to our citizens thus responding to the real threats generated by Russia,” underscored Iohannis.

 

Polish President Duda deems visit to Ukraine one of the hardest experience

 

Polish President Andrzej Duda said in Bucharest on Friday that his recent visit to Ukraine was “one of the hardest experiences” of his life.

Andrzej Duda, together with President Klaus Iohannis, is co-chairing the B9 Summit at Cotroceni Presidential Palace.

“We stand at a special moment. Ukraine has been fighting the Russian invaders for four months, NATO is completing its preparations for the Madrid Summit,” the Polish president said at the opening of the session, according to the official translation.

Andrzej Duda thanked US President Joe Biden for his support of the B9 Summit.

“My visit to Ukraine was one of the hardest experiences of my life. My memories will remain forever. Opposition to the bestiality of Russian aggressors, pity for their victims, the fact that we see chapters that we thought were closed forever reopen, the attempt to create an order based on cooperation did not have any result, because Russia has not stopped thinking about its projects of imperial development, territorial expansion, shift of the balance of power and spheres of influence. There is talk about about ruski mir [Russian peace – ed.n.],” confessed the Polish president.

He stressed that “Ukraine is able to defend itself against Russian aggressors across its entire territory.”

“In order to avoid future mistakes, we will have to look very closely at how this could happen. The most important thing now is to support Ukraine, to strengthen NATO’s deterrence factor, to develop a coherent strategy to stop Putin’s imperialism. These must be based on the synergy of actions between NATO and the European Union, and the potential of the likes of Bucharest 9 must be used,” Andrzej Duda concluded his intervention.

 

President Biden to NATO leaders meeting in Bucharest: US pledges to defend eastern flank

 

The President of the United States of America, Joe Biden, wished a “successful summit” on Friday to the presidents of the allied states on NATO’s Eastern Flank, gathered in Bucharest in the B9 Format, .

In a Twitter post, the head of the US administration said that he is “looking forward” to seeing them again at the NATO Summit in Madrid.

President Biden also said that the United States pledges to defend NATO’s Eastern Flank, strengthening the region’s energy security, and working together to support Ukraine.”

 

Compiled from Agerpres

Photo: www.presidency.ro

 

 

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