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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

B9 FMs, US state secretary discuss 'security situation around Ukraine'

04.01.2022 09:00
Top diplomats from nine countries on the eastern edge of NATO have discussed "the security situation around Ukraine" with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken amid tensions with Russia, the Polish foreign ministry has said.
Image:
Image:Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs/gov.pl

The nine foreign ministers and the US state secretary agreed that "NATO’s and the EU’s strong and joint response will be a proper reply to claims made by Russia against Europe and the US," the Polish foreign ministry's spokesman, Łukasz Jasina, said in a statement.

He added that Poland's Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau noted during the phone conversation on Monday that "the proper place to discuss European security is the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, chaired by Poland since 1 January 2022."

Jasina also said in his statement that Blinken offered assurances "that no decisions on Central and Eastern Europe can be made without consultations with the countries of the region."

The call, held at the request of the United States, made it possible to "arrange joint measures to ease the tense situation around Ukraine and along NATO’s eastern flank," according to the Polish foreign ministry.

Meanwhile, the US State Department said in a statement that Blinken and the foreign ministers from "the Bucharest Nine (B9) group of eastern flank NATO Allies" discussed "Russia’s destabilizing military buildup along Ukraine’s border; the need for a united, ready, and resolute NATO stance for the collective defense of Allies; and transatlantic cooperation on issues of shared concern."

During the call, Blinken "stressed the U.S. commitment to continued close consultation and coordination with all of our Transatlantic Allies and partners as we work toward de-escalation through deterrence, defense, and dialogue," according to the statement.

"They also highlighted their solidarity with Lithuania in the face of escalating political pressure and economic coercion by the People’s Republic of China," the US State Department said in its statement.

It added that Blinken "underscored the United States’ unwavering commitment to Transatlantic security and to NATO’s Article 5."

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. It brings together Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, and Slovakia.

(gs)

Source: PAP, gov.pl, state.gov