Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg told the meeting of Bucharest Nine, which comprises NATO eastern flank nations, that there must be greater support for Ukraine because Russian President Vladimir Putin is preparing for further military actions in Ukraine.
Held this week in Warsaw, the Bucharest Nine summit was attended by all nine members — Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia — and chaired by Polish President Andrzej Duda. In addition, U. S. President Joe Biden was also in attendance on Wednesday.
Biden stated that Article 5 of the NATO treaty, which commits all member states to assist another member state under attack, was “sacred” and “immovable.” He recalled how the formation of the Bucharest Nine took place in 2015 following Russia’s first invasion of Ukraine in 2014.
The U.S. president expressed his conviction that after a year of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, NATO was stronger and more united than ever before not only in terms of its defense of Ukraine but also its values such as freedom, security, and global peace.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the visit by President Biden to Kyiv this week had demonstrated increasing U.S. support for Ukraine and for Central and Eastern Europe. He felt that “Putin is preparing for more war, therefore we must increase our support for Ukraine.”
Polish President Andrzej Duda said that “Russian aggression had changed the course of history in our part of Europe,” while Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said he felt that “NATO’s presence in our region must be strengthened.”
The summit produced a formal declaration in which the participating countries stated that “Russia is the greatest threat to the security of allies.” It also expressed a commitment to implementing NATO’s new principles for deterrence and defense as well as offered support for strengthening the presence of the alliance in the region.
The statement goes on to “condemn Russian aggression in the strongest possible terms” and to assert that those responsible for “war crimes will be called to account.” The statement additionally called for maintaining “pressure on Russia” and condemned Belarus and all others who “actively facilitate Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.”
Finally, the leaders of the Bucharest Nine all supported the “Euro-Atlantic aspirations of Ukraine,” which refers to membership in NATO and the EU.