Nine European countries call on NATO to reinforce eastern flank

Nine European countries call on NATO to reinforce eastern flank

On Friday, nine countries of Central and Eastern Europe asked NATO to strengthen their eastern flank after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, newssky.com.ua reports citing spacewar.

Nine European countries call on NATO to strengthen the eastern flank

Meeting of the leaders of Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania , Poland, Romania and Slovakia took place in the Romanian capital Bucharest less than three weeks before the NATO summit in Madrid.

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In view of the increased security risks in Romania and the Black Sea, the consolidation of NATO on its eastern flank in a unified and balanced way is becoming increasingly relevant and important,” said Romanian President Klaus Iohannis at the opening of the meeting, where he co-chaired with his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda.

The Atlantic Alliance Summit will develop “a long-term vision… putting collective defense and Article 5 at the heart of action,” Iohannis emphasized, advocating “a significant transformation of deterrence and defense.”

Article 5 of NATO refers to collective defense and states that an attack on one member is an attack on all of them.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was forced to miss this month's summit due to health problems, but will join online debate.

The heads of state of the nine countries represented in Bucharest will also discuss the impact of the Russian invasion on the security of NATO's “vulnerable partners”, including Moldova and Georgia.

In a telephone conversation with Polish President Duda on Wednesday, US counterpart Joe Biden reaffirmed the United States' commitment to securing NATO's eastern flank and expressed hope that the Bucharest meeting would be “successful,” according to the White House.

In 2017 NATO has deployed multinational battlegroups in the Baltic States and Poland to contain Russia. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, the military alliance sent reinforcements there.

Last month, Deputy Secretary General of the US-led alliance Mircea Geoana said that NATO was no longer bound by past commitments to refrain from deploying forces in Eastern Europe.

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Moscow has “annulled any content” of the Russia-NATO Founding Act by attacking Ukraine and ending dialogue with the alliance, Joana told AFP.

In line with the 1997 Founding Act aimed at resetting relations between Russia and NATO, both sides agreed to work to “prevent any potentially threatening buildup of conventional weapons in the agreed regions of Europe, including Central and Eastern Europe.”