Eastern European leaders condemn Russian sabotage in NATO territory – EURACTIV.com
The leaders of the Bucharest Nine Group (B9) condemned the acts of sabotage committed by Russia on NATO territory and expressed their view that members of the Atlantic Alliance must jointly address the security implications of the global rise of China.
B9 Group leaders, including countries on NATO’s eastern flank – Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Bulgaria – gathered virtually on Monday for the Bucharest 9 summit for consultation and dialogue, in US President Joe Biden and Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General.
Leaders noted that NATO faces distinct threats and challenges from all strategic directions. They noted Russia’s aggressive actions and military build-up in close proximity to NATO, as well as its aggressive hybrid activities.
“We condemn Russia’s acts of sabotage in Alliance territory, as evidenced by the explosions at the 2014 munitions depot in Vrbětice, Czech Republic, which constitute a serious violation of international law. In addition, we are concerned about reports of a similar pattern of behavior on Bulgarian territory, as evidenced by the announcement of the ongoing investigation in Sofia, ”said the joint statement.
“Terrorism remains a threat to all of us. Hybrid warfare, disinformation and deception aim to sow distrust in our societies, with the ultimate goal of affecting the very pillars of our democracies and undermining our unity. Instability beyond our borders also contributes to irregular migration. We remain vigilant within the Alliance to ensure that Afghanistan does not once again become a haven for terrorists, ”he added.
The leaders also stressed that China’s rise to global power “has implications for Euro-Atlantic security and we must address them together, as an alliance.”
The nine Bucharest Platform 9 countries are EU Member States and they support a strategic partnership and deeper coordination between NATO and the EU. “In this regard, we will seek the combined potential of the two organizations, in particular to increase Euro-Atlantic resilience, counter hybrid threats, improve cybersecurity and achieve greater synergy of actions.” (Joanna Jakubowska | EURACTIV.pl; Bogdan Neagu | EURACTIV.ro)