President will attend B9 meeting ahead of NATO summit: official

Next week, President Andrzej Duda will take part in a meeting of presidents of the Bucharest Nine (B9) countries in Bucharest. The meeting will be an opportunity to work out a joint position for the NATO summit, Paweł Soloch, the head of the National Security Bureau, told the Polish Press Agency (PAP).

The B9 meeting in view of the NATO summit, scheduled for mid-June in Brussels, was the subject of talks by the head of the presidential National Security Bureau during his visit to Romania in February this year.

“The idea was that the meeting of the Nine should take place in the perspective of the NATO summit in Brussels, just like two years ago, when the B9 also worked out a joint position before the NATO summit and this had an impact on the final documents,” Mr Soloch said, adding that the initiative's goal is also to emphasise the joint position of a group of countries on NATO's eastern flank at the first NATO summit with the participation of the US President Joe Biden.

“I think that the [Polish] president and our partners from the Nine will stress the need to further strengthen NATO, implement the military adaptation of the Alliance in connection with the aggressive Russian policy and tighten transatlantic ties. This will be an opportunity for the B9 countries to demonstrate their own contribution to the security of the region,” Mr Soloch stated.

He also reiterated that Polish soldiers co-create a multinational battalion stationed as part of NATO's tailored Forward Presence (tFP) in Romania, and the Romanian sub-unit is part of the enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) combat group in Poland.

The presidents of Poland and Romania will meet in Bucharest in person, and the other leaders will take part in the meeting in the form of a teleconference.

The Bucharest Nine (B9) consists of Poland, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia. This is a Polish-Romanian initiative aimed at coordinating the security positions of countries on the eastern NATO flank. The first Bucharest Nine meeting took place in Warsaw in 2014.