Biden to the B9 Summit: The US is committed to defending NATO’s eastern flank


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The presidents of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, and of Poland, Andrzej Duda, initiators of the Bucharest 9 Format, received, on Friday, at the Cotroceni Palace, the participants in the B9 Summit. The presidents of Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia and Bulgaria are present in Bucharest. “Security risks to Romania and the Black Sea region are on the rise,” Klaus Iohannis said at the start of the summit.

US President Joe Biden also sent a message to the participants. The United States “is committed to defending NATO’s eastern flank, strengthening the region’s energy security, and working together to support Ukraine,” he said. Joe Biden also told B9 Summit participants that he was “looking forward to seeing them again at the NATO Summit in Madrid.”

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said that the Summit is taking place on a crucial moment for NATO and particularly for the states on the Eastern flank.

It is a great pleasure for me to host this meeting. I would like to thank you for accepting to attend the sixth Bucharest 9 Format summit (…) Since February 24 we needed to manage a completely new security situation in the region. We are going through a crucial time for the Euroatlantic region and especially, for us, the NATO states on the Eastern Flank. Romania is the NATO ally with the longest border with Ukraine, but we all share the assessment of the serious threats to the Euroatlantic security, as a consequence of the illegal and immoral aggression war launched by Russia against Ukraine. The Bucharest 9 Format gives a clear added value in coagulating the messages and in providing coordinate approaches of all nine allies on the Eastern Flank, but also at trans-Atlantic level , regarding the Alliance’s security as a whole“, Klaus Iohannis stated.

The Romanian head of state told the participants that “security risks to Romania and the Black Sea region are increasing.”

“This meeting is more relevant than ever, from at least two perspectives. First of all, the dramatic developments in the region require increased attention and enhanced coordination. Solidarity, dialogue and cooperation are at the heart of our common strength. Today’s agenda will therefore address current security developments in Ukraine and their impact on the extended neighborhood, including other vulnerable partners, such as the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, but also on the security of the entire Alliance. Secondly, we are in an exceptional moment in which we will trace the trajectory of the Alliance for at least the next decade. At the end of this month, at the NATO Summit in Madrid, we will take decisions with a major impact on our current and future security. We will establish a long-term vision through the New Strategic Concept, putting collective defense and Article 5 at the heart of our actions and implementing a significant transformation of the deterrent and defense position, especially on the Eastern Flank, as we decided on 24 March 2022, Brussels. As the security risks to Romania and the Black Sea region increase, the consolidation of NATO’s position on the entire Eastern Flank, in a uniform and balanced manner, especially in the southern part of the Eastern Flank, becomes all the more urgent and crucial.I am confident that unity and a common approach at B9 level will facilitate the ongoing negotiations at the Allied level, as well as NATO’s decision-making process. We have a responsibility to ensure the security of our citizens by responding to the real threats posed by Russia,” said President Klaus Iohannis.

The Presidents of the Czech Republic and Slovakia also attend the B9 Summit by videoconference. Secretary General of the North Atlantic Alliance Jens Stoltenberg will also attend the summit online.

The statement of the Summit

The future Strategic Concept that NATO will adopt at its summit at the end of this month must emphasize that the Russian Federation is the most significant and direct threat to Euro-Atlantic security and be adapted to the new reality created by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, including Significant and tailored consolidation of NATO’s entire Eastern Flank through a modern Advanced Defense, the leaders of nine North Atlantic Alliance member states gathered in Bucharest in the format known as “B9”.

The 9 countries support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, but also of the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, because their security and stability contribute to the security of the Euro-Atlantic area. The nine leaders also support Ukraine’s integration into the European Union and are determined to continue and increase their assistance to Kyiv. Bosnia and Herzegovina is also mentioned in the Declaration, and the leaders want practical cooperation and support for this state to be stepped up.

The 9 advocate strengthening NATO’s strategic partnership with the European Union and stress the importance of a lasting transatlantic link and solidarity between North America and Europe, which, in their view, should be enshrined in the Alliance’s future Strategic Concept.

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