Nine CEE nations want stronger NATO

Nine countries located on NATO’s eastern flank want the alliance to be stronger, Polish President Andrzej Duda said on Friday, ahead of an upcoming summit of the military alliance.
The Bucharest Nine summit in Warsaw. Photo: prezydent.plThe Bucharest Nine summit in Warsaw. Photo:

A joint declaration, signed by leaders of the Bucharest Nine counties, said Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia wanted the 2018 NATO summit to build on “pivotal decisions” that were taken at previous summits and which bolstered the alliance’s eastern flank.

The Bucharest Nine said that they were “confident that the upcoming NATO summit will mark further strengthening of the alliance,” especially deterrence and defence against existing and future threats to security.

The group also said they welcomed increased ally engagement in the region, and noted “with deep concern” Russia’s aggression, efforts to destabilise other countries, and boosted offensive capabilities.

Duda said the declaration was the most important achievement of the B9 summit in Warsaw on Friday.

“Just as a joint declaration … contributed to a decision taken at the NATO summit in Warsaw to station alliance forces in the Baltic states, Poland, Bulgaria and Romania, so too, I hope, that this joint declaration … will contribute to decisions at the NATO summit in Brussels,” Duda said.

A NATO summit will be held in Brussels on July 11-12. (vb)

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