As a Result of Russia's Invasion of Ukraine, 9 Countries Urge NATO to Strengthen Eastern Europe

As a Result of Russia's Invasion of Ukraine, 9 Countries Urge NATO to Strengthen Eastern Europe
9 Countries Urge NATO to Strengthen Eastern Europe

International Military - Nine Central and Eastern European countries on Friday (10/6/2022) asked NATO to strengthen its eastern flank after Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The nine countries are all NATO members. The call was made at a meeting of the leaders of Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia in the Romanian capital; Bucharest.

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The meeting comes less than three weeks before the NATO summit in Madrid. "Given the increasing security risks in Romania and the Black Sea, consolidating NATO on its eastern flank, in a unified and balanced manner, is becoming increasingly urgent and crucial," Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said at the opening of the meeting, which was co-chaired by Polish President Andrzej Duda.

"The Atlantic Alliance Summit will lay out a long-term vision of putting collective defense and Article 5 at the heart of action," Iohannis continued, advocating a significant transformation of deterrence and defense posture. Article 5 of NATO refers to collective defense, and states that an attack on one member is an attack on all NATO members.

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was forced to miss this month's summit due to health concerns, but will join the online debate. Heads of state from nine countries 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 on Wednesday, US President Joe Biden reaffirmed the United States' commitment to the security of NATO's eastern wing and hoped the meeting in Bucharest would be successful.

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In 2017, NATO deployed multinational combat groups in the Baltic states and Poland to deter Russia. After Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February, the military alliance sent reinforcements there.

Last month, NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana said that the alliance was no longer bound by past commitments to refrain from deploying troops in eastern Europe. "Moscow has canceled any content in the NATO-Russia Founding Act by attacking Ukraine and stopping dialogue with the alliance," Geoana told AFP.

Under the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act, which was intended to reorganize relations between Russia and NATO, the two sides agreed to work to prevent the buildup of potentially threatening conventional powers in agreed-upon European areas, including Central and Eastern Europe.

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