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UPDATE: B9 leaders discuss transatlantic security with Joe Biden

10.12.2021 09:00
Leaders from nine countries on the eastern edge of NATO have discussed transatlantic security challenges with US President Joe Biden amid increased tensions with Russia.
Polish President Andrzej Duda.
Polish President Andrzej Duda.Photo: Marek Borawski/KPRP

The teleconference on Thursday brought together presidents from nations referred to as the Bucharest Nine (B9) group: Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, and Slovakia, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

Poland's President Andrzej Duda "stressed that our part of Europe, in response to the Russian policy of aggression, expects a very clear position of strengthening, not weakening, NATO," his foreign policy aide Jakub Kumoch told reporters.

Kumoch also said that "the Polish position" presented by Duda had been consulted with the government and the country's Bucharest Nine partners.

Kumoch added that the presidents of Lithuania and Romania also spoke during the call with Biden and that "all of them spoke with one voice."

The White House said in a statement that Biden spoke on Thursday with "the Bucharest Nine (B9) group of our eastern flank NATO Allies to underscore the United States’ commitment to Transatlantic security and our sacred commitment to NATO’s Article 5."

The statement added that the leaders "discussed Russia’s destabilizing military buildup along Ukraine’s border and the need for a united, ready, and resolute NATO stance for the collective defense of Allies."

During the call, Biden "stressed the U.S. commitment to continued close consultation and coordination with all our Transatlantic Allies and partners as we work towards de-escalation of the current crisis through deterrence, defense, and dialogue," according to the White House.

Biden also spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Thursday.

US President Joe Biden. US President Joe Biden. Photo: EPA/Alex Brandon

The US leader on Tuesday told Russian President Vladimir Putin that the West was concerned Russia would invade Ukraine and warned of "strong economic and other measures" as punishment should Moscow start a military conflict, according to a statement by the White House.

The Bucharest Nine is a Polish-Romanian initiative launched in 2015 that aims to help exchange views and coordinate positions on the security of NATO’s eastern-flank countries.


Source: PAP, IAR, prezydent.pl, whitehouse.gov