"We will defend literally every inch of NATO" is the message conveyed by the US President Joe Biden at the meeting in Warsaw of the leaders of the Bucharest 9 format, which includes Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, the Baltic countries, Slovakia and Hungary.
"You're the front lines of our collective defense, and you know better than anyone what's at stake in this conflict. Not just for Ukraine but for the freedom of democracies throughout Europe, and around the world", Biden also said, recalling Article 5, according to which any attack on one NATO state is an attack on all the member states.
In turn, the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, stressed in Warsaw that Moscow must not be allowed to harm European security and pleaded for the unity of the allies in supporting Ukraine with everything that is needed.
"One year after the start of the Russian invasion, President Vladimir Putin is not preparing for peace. On the contrary, he is preparing for world war" , the NATO Secretary General said in his speech at the Bucharest 9 summit. "We must therefore sustain and intensify our support for Ukraine and give Ukraine what it needs to prevail. We don't know when the war will end but, when it does, we have to make sure that history doesn't repeat itself," he added.
At the B9 summit, Romania was represented by President Klaus Iohannis, who promised firm support for Ukraine and called for a security strategy in the Black Sea area.
"This war has brought only suffering and hopelessness, crimes and the displacement of millions of Ukrainians, unprecedented destruction and insecurity. We, the leaders on the Eastern Flank, have a responsibility to show firmness in defending peace. We must continue to show firmness in fulfilling our commitments to support Ukraine for as long as it takes to win this war", the Romanian President said.
Allied unity and solidarity for Ukraine are absolutely essential and represented the "secret weapon" of the NATO countries, the Romanian leader stressed.
"Russia has brought the war back to Europe, and the NATO states on the Eastern Flank, united in this format of coordinating our positions at the allied level, which we initiated together with the president of Poland in 2015, are in the front line of the effort to counteract the negative effects of this brutal and unjustified war", Klaus Iohannis also said.
The stakes of our effort to restore peace to Europe are unprecedented, he added, and are recognized and reinforced by the unequivocal US commitment to security on NATO's Eastern Flank, reconfirmed by President Biden's presence at the B9 Summit and the solidity of its involvement in the region. This involvement is demonstrated by the increase in the American presence on the Eastern Flank, including in Romania, as an extremely important deterrent factor. (MI)