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Bucharest 9 Defence Ministers’ Meeting


“We are preparing for the future NATO Summit. Today, the allied forward presence has been consolidated on the entire Eastern Flank of the Alliance, both on in the North-East, the Baltic region and in the South-East, on Romanian territory and in the Black Sea region. We continue focusing on its implementation and - in this context - we are waiting for major decisions to be made in July regarding the allied defence and deterrence posture.” The statement has been made by the Romanian defence minister Mihai Fifor at the B9 Reunion, alongside his allied counterparts representing the participating countries in the “Bucharest 9” Initiative and USA and NATO observers, at the activity held at the Palace of Parliament, today, on March 13th.

At the opening of the sessions, minister Mihai Fifor stated that “it is the moment to maximize the deterrence role of the defence equipment we possess and we appreciate that this aspect must be part of the long-term strategic vision of the North-Atlantic Alliance. This translates to the continuation of the adaptation efforts of NATO’s defence and deterrence posture to the current strategic realities.

The working sessions of the B9 Defence Ministers Meeting brought to the attention of the delegations topics such as NATO’s Command Structure adaptation, the risks and the threats from the Alliance's Eastern Neighborhood, strengthening the NATO-EU relationship and ways of consolidating the cooperation among allied states including by ensuring complementation with the other regional formats: European Defense Initiative / EDI Initiative, or the Three Seas Initiative.

The security architecture on the entire Eastern flank and concrete ways of formulating adapted answers within allied framework were evaluated during the first working session. The second session focused on the implementation status of the allied decisions taken at the Warsaw Summit with respect to the forward presence as well as the expectations from the 2018 NATO Summit. Aspects related to the interoperability and mobility of forces on the Eastern flank of the Alliance were approached during the third working session.

The defence ministers and the USA and NATO representatives at the B9 reunion pointed out the need of coherence and unity of the states from the Eastern flank when facing the threats against security and stability in the region. In this respect, minister Fifor highlighted the importance of the overall coherence of the defence and deterrence posture in the wider context of consolidating the Black Sea region profile at allied level. Also, the officials attending the reunion exchanged views on the allied policy regarding Russia, bringing up the allied unity with respect to the relation between NATO and Russia. Also, aspects related to the increase of interoperability of the allied forces in the B9 format with the US ones, the increase of troops’ mobility on the Eastern flank as well as a common approach in the field of consolidating cooperation between NATO and EU were debated upon during the meeting.

During the joint press conference held by the Romanian and Polish defence ministers, both officials restated the fact that this reunion brings “a significant contribution to shaping the vision on the future developments in the field of defence and security, in line with the common efforts made as part of the North-Atlantic Alliance adaptation process.”

The B9 reunion agenda comprised meetings with the Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies, Liviu Dragnea, and the Chairman of the Romanian Senate, Călin Popescu Tăriceanu. The two chairmen sent a message in support of tackling the security and defence matters on the Eastern flank in the B9 format, with a view of ensuring coherence as well as highlighting the importance of the NATO membership and strategic partnership with the USA.

On the occasion of the B9 reunion, the President of Romania, Klaus Werner Iohannis, had a meeting with the officials attending the meeting, at the Cotroceni Palace. The meeting agenda focused on the preparations for the upcoming NATO Summit from July. In this context, the officials pointed out the need to continue making common efforts in order to ensure the unity of the Eastern allies when facing the threats, the need to project stability in the close neighborhood of NATO, the importance of the US presence on the Eastern flank as a proof of the firm commitment towards the stability of the region as well as the need to develop the trans-Atlantic relation with a view of ensuring security throughout the entire Alliance.

During the working lunch hosted by the Governor of Romania’s National Bank, Mugur Isărescu, the officials from the B9 states and the USA and NATO observers had the opportunity to discuss future ways of developing cooperation within the B9 format in order to ensure unity on the Eastern flank.

During the B9 reunion, minister Mihai Fifor had bilateral talks with his Polish counterpart, Mariusz Blaszczak, to coordinate concrete ways of cooperation between Romania and Poland but also within the Alliance in order to prepare the decisions that are to be taken by the chiefs of states ad governments at the July NATO Summit.

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“Bucharest 9” Initiative was launched by Romania, in partnership with the Warsaw authorities, in 2014, as platform for strengthening dialogue and consultations among nine allies: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary.

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Actualizare: 13.11.2018