US President Joe Biden spoke with the presidents of the Bucharest Nine (B9) countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia) on Thursday evening. During the conversation, he emphasised the importance of allied solidarity and his opposition to the fact that one state should decide about another, the head of the National Security Bureau (BBN) Paweł Soloch said.
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oe Biden also stressed “the importance of allied solidarity, in regards to article 5 [of the Washington Treaty – ed.] on collective defence; he emphasised that the effects of a possible aggression against Ukraine would be very serious in every dimension – economic, but also in relation to military balance,” the head of the National Security Bureau stated.
Mr Soloch recalled President Duda’s opinion that the most appropriate forums to discuss the issue of actions to be taken against Russia are the North Atlantic Council in NATO and the European Council in the case of the EU. He pointed out that “President Andrzej Duda supported the continuation of the decisions made during the Warsaw NATO summit, where countries agreed to systematically strengthen the eastern flank”. The US President also referred to his statements.
He asserted that the issue of Ukraine and the concentration of Russian troops on its border was the main, but not the only, topic. “Other aspects of Russia’s aggressive policy, such as hybrid activities and energy policy were also discussed, but the leading topic – which results from the current situation – was the issue of preventing possible aggression against Ukraine,” the head of the BBN said.
According to the White house, “the leaders discussed Russia’s destabilising military buildup along Ukraine’s border and the need for a united, ready, and resolute NATO stance for the collective defence of Allies. President Biden stressed the US commitment to continued close consultation and coordination with all our transatlantic allies and partners as we work towards de-escalation of the current crisis through deterrence, defence, and dialogue”.
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“The B9 format is a permanent consultation mechanism for nine countries on NATO’s flanks. It was created through the initiative of the presidents of Poland and Romania. It also works well under the new American administration. This is another meeting between President Biden and the B9 at a time of the crisis caused by Russia and the threat of renewed aggression against Ukraine,” Mr Soloch told the Polish Press Agency (PAP).
Conversation with Ukrainian President
Joe Biden also spoke with the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, on Thursday. As reported by the White House, “President Biden voiced the deep concerns of the United States and our European Allies about Russia’s aggressive actions towards Ukraine and made clear that the US and our Allies would respond with strong economic and other measures in the event of a further military intervention”.
Moreover, “he reaffirmed the United States’ unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. President Biden made clear that the US and its allies and partners are committed to the principle of “no decisions or discussions about Ukraine without Ukraine,” the White House stated.
Concluding his talk, “President Biden underscored the readiness of the US to engage in support of confidence-building measures to advance the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, in support of the Normandy Format,” the White House press release said.
Recently, President Biden also announced meetings between representatives of the United States, Russia and “at least four important NATO allies”.