The leaders of the Central and Eastern European countries will discuss the escalating situation in Ukraine and the collective security of Eastern Europe at an emergency summit of the Bucharest Nine nations, which will take place on Friday afternoon in Warsaw.
Jakub Kumoch, the head of the presidential International Policy Bureau in Poland, has confirmed the meeting on social media.
According to Kumoch, the decision to hold such a summit was made during talks between Polish President Andrzej Duda, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.
He added that the all presidents have confirmed their attendance, although Czechia’s President Milosz Zeman will participate remotely.
The Bucharest Nine (B9) was established in 2015 following an initiative by Poland and Romania. It is comprised of the NATO eastern flank states — Bulgaria, Czechia, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary.
The summit will enable the nations to agree on a collective response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s signing of a decree to formally recognize the independence of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine on Monday.
Putin and the separatist leaders also signed declarations of friendship, cooperation and mutual aid with Russia, facilitating the arrival of Russian troops on Ukrainian soil on Tuesday to perform what the Kremlin described as “peacekeeping functions.”
Piotr Müller, the spokesman for the Polish government, said on Tuesday that Warsaw was in favor of hitting Russia with severe sanctions in response.
He added that Polish politicians and diplomats, including President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, were holding intensive talks on what action to take after Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
Friday’s B9 summit in Warsaw will be part of these consultations, Müller said.