In news– Recently, the nine Eastern European countries (B9) have rejected the Russian claim about the eastward expansion of NATO, and “underlined that NATO is not an organization that “expanded” to the east”, rather, “it was they, the independent European states, who decided on their own to go west.”
About Bucharest Nine-
- The “Bucharest Nine” is a group of nine NATO countries in Eastern Europe that became part of the US-led military alliance after the end of the Cold War.
- It includes Romania and Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and the three Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
- Bucharest Format, often abbreviated as the B9, was founded on November 4, 2015, and takes its name from Bucharest, the capital of Romania.
- B9 was created on the initiative of Klaus Iohannis, who has been President of Romania since 2014, and Andrzej Duda, who became President of Poland in August 2015, at the High-Level Meeting of the States from Central and Eastern Europe in Bucharest.
- It offers a platform for deepening the dialogue and consultation among the participant allied states, in order to articulate their specific contribution to the ongoing processes across the North-Atlantic Alliance, in total compliance with the principles of solidarity and indivisibility of the security of the NATO Member States.
- All nine countries were once closely associated with the now dissolved Soviet Union, but later chose the path of democracy.
- Romania, Poland, Hungary, and Bulgaria are former signatories of the now dissolved Warsaw Pact military alliance led by the Soviet Union. (The other Warsaw Pact countries were the erstwhile Czechoslovakia and East Germany, and Albania.)
- Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania were part of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
- All members of the B9 are part of the European Union (EU) and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
- The B9 countries have been critical of President Vladimir Putin’s aggression against Ukraine since 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula and Russia’s recent military attack on Ukraine.