Vilnius hosted the Bucharest Nine meeting of ministers of foreign affairs
On 10 March, on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the Restoration of the Independence of Lithuania, Vilnius held the Bucharest Nine (B9) meeting of the foreign ministers of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary. Delegates from the United States of America and NATO attended the meeting as guests. Gitanas Nausėda, President of the Republic of Lithuania, greeted the participants in the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania.
Participants of the meeting debated on decisions of the Alliance concerning commitment to collective defence on the NATO’s Eastern flank, exchanged opinions on Russia and China, and on the security of information technologies and 5G, discussed NATO’s role in countering terrorism, and touched upon energy security.
In his concluding summary, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius presented the conclusions made by the chair of the meeting which expressed satisfaction with the relevance of the B9 format and agreement of the NATO Eastern flank allies on key international policy issues such as the critical role of the Alliance in ensuring the security of the countries, the importance of a transatlantic link, views on Russia and China, and the significance of energy security.
Mr Linkevičius noted that Lithuania together with its allies is celebrating a major date in modern history, the 30th anniversary of the restoration of Lithuania’s Independence. “For three decades we have been very consistent in putting every effort to unite Europe in a peaceful way, to safeguard and strengthen our democracies, defend Western values, enhance security, and promote the welfare of our citizens. Our progress is evident, however, we are still facing a big number of common and immediate tasks,” Mr Minister said.
The guests will take part in festive events of 11 March to mark the 30th anniversary of the Restoration of the Independence of Lithuania.
The Bucharest Nine (B9) brings together nine countries of the NATO Eastern flank. The B9 format was launched in 2015 in response to the Russian aggression in Ukraine in 2014. Regular meetings held at various levels aim to highlight the defence and deterrence needs of the NATO Eastern flank countries and to discuss pressing matters of their security policy.