NATO Deputy Secretary General participates in meeting of B9 countries
On Thursday (31 March 2022), NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană participated in a Foreign Ministers meeting of the Bucharest 9 Initiative, which includes Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. The meeting took place in Bratislava, Slovakia, where the Deputy Secretary General also met with Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovakia, Ivan Korčok, and Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasian Affairs of the United States, Dr Karen Donfried.
Ministers addressed NATO’s increased presence in the eastern part of its territory. Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia will host four battlegroups, in addition to NATO’s existing battlegroups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. This further strengthens NATO’s deterrence and defence in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Deputy Secretary General stressed that “our responsibility will remain to ensure the security and defence of all Allies and across all domains and with a 360-degrees approach”.
Ministers also addressed NATO’s upcoming Summit in Madrid in June, when Allies will agree NATO’s next Strategic Concept, as well as adapt our deterrence and defence posture for the longer-term. “The Russian invasion of Ukraine is the gravest threat to Euro-Atlantic security in decades. We must reflect on how it will impact Allied and international security, both in the short and medium to long term”, the Deputy Secretary General said.
In his bilateral meetings, the Deputy Secretary General thanked Minister Korčok for Slovakia’s readiness to host one of NATO’s new multinational battlegroups as an important contribution to the Alliance’s collective defence. With Assistant Secretary of State Donfried, Mr Geoană discussed further support to Ukraine. He commended the decision by the United States to deploy 100,000 troops to Europe as a strong signal of transatlantic unity and solidarity.