In 2015, Poland and Romania led the creation of the group called Bucharest 9 (B9) as a form of protection against Russian advances, which encompasses the 9 nations of the Eastern flank of Europe participating in NATO: Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia.
Since then, in 2021 and early 2022, representatives of the United States have reinforced their commitment to these nine nations to protect them militarily and provide unity to NATO and the European Union.
What is the Bucharest 9 Group (B9)
The Bucharest Group 9 is an action project to ensure the unity and participation of the interests of the Eastern European countries, created as a joint response to Russia in its dominion of Crimea and its advances in eastern Ukraine and the Black Sea.
These nine countries that form the B9 were part of the Soviet Union or participated in the Warsaw Pact. The past of socialist unity brings the historical interest of Russia in advancing in these countries.
Then, following the model of Three Seas Initiative, Bucharest Group 9 aims at increased investment by the European Union in having a more active participation in the security of these countries, with military support provided by NATO.
At the summit in May 2021, US President Joe Biden promised greater participation by NATO as a military alliance to ensure the security of these countries. At this meeting the Polish President Andrzej Duda said that they should consider Russia a “permanent threat”.
“We, who just decades ago were stuck behind the Iron Curtain, who looked at the free world with envy, are now saying: the door to Nato should remain open,” Duda said.The First News, Duda, President of Poland, May 2021 Meeting with Bucharest 9 Leaders
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis also spoke about the Russian dangers in his region:
“The worrying security situation in the Black Sea… has proven that we need to maintain vigilance, so Nato must continue to bolster its deterrence and defence activities, especially on Nato’s eastern flank, in a united way: from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea,”The First News, Iohannis, President of Romania, May 2021 meeting with Bucharest 9 Leaders
On the January third 2022, United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken assured that B9’s interests are strongly considered by NATO and praised Article 5 of mutual defense, in which he takes the attack on an organization’s country as an attack on all.
How Bucharest 9 can influence geopolitical theater on the Eastern flank of Europe and NATO
As a concise group, Bucharest 9 became a leading actor of NATO and the EU on the Eastern flank of Europe, especially in conflicts with Russia and the advance in Ukraine.
It is an action, mainly, of demonstration of strength and unity. NATO alliances guarantee military security for several countries, which inhibits any attack on any of its members.
But it is not only a unit for NATO, but also for the European Union and the countries furthest from the Western core. The objective here is to demonstrate a single bloc of political and military participation.
So, the implicit attacks by Russia in the Eastern territory, which in the past were part of the USSR or were “satellite” countries at the same time, they have a geopolitical barrier that involves several actors, mainly the EU and the US.
This ensures that the interests of the West manifest themselves as a unified front of action, with diverse territories endorsing its bases.