Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg attended the Bucharest Nine (B9) Summit by video teleconference on Friday (10 June 2022), to prepare for the NATO Summit in Madrid at the end of this month. The B9 format, established at the initiative of Polish President Duda and Romanian President Iohannis in the aftermath of Russia’s first invasion of Ukraine in 2014, includes NATO Allies Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, and its summit is currently taking place in Bucharest.
The NATO Secretary General thanked the B9 group for their strong support of transatlantic unity, their significant contributions to Euro-Atlantic security, as well as their consistent support for Ukraine’s sovereignty. He stressed that today’s meeting is particularly timely in view of President Putin’s second invasion of Ukraine, leading to the worst security situation in Europe since World War Two. NATO has responded quickly, Mr. Stoltenberg said, including by doubling the number of multinational battlegroups from the Baltic to the Black Sea, with new battlegroups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia.
At the NATO Summit in Madrid, all 30 Alliance leaders will take the next steps to continue to adapt the Alliance to a more dangerous and competitive world. The Secretary General outlined the importance of further strengthening deterrence and defence, including on the eastern flank, with more combat-ready forceds, together with more enablers and pre-positioning, to leave no doubt that NATO will protect every inch of Allied territory.
Mr. Stoltenberg also stressed the importance of continued investment in defence and resourcing the Alliance at this critical time, commending the B9 members for the fact that many of them meet or exceed the 2 % target of GDP on defence spending. The Secretary General outlined the need to deepen partnerships at the Madrid Summit, including with Ukraine, Georgia, Finland and Sweden, the European Union, and Asia-Pacific partners.