Eastern European NATO members to plan response to Russian invasion

The Bucharest 9 (B9) group is set to hold an extraordinary meeting today. The B9 is a group of nine

Eastern European NATO response to Russia | Photo: Igor Smirnow/KPRP

The Bucharest 9 (B9) group is set to hold an extraordinary meeting today.

The B9 is a group of nine Eastern European NATO members: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia. The topic of the meeting is Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The invasion is of particular concern to the B9 group, who are all former Soviet states. Expect the meeting to focus on coordinating military defenses within B9 states rather than cooperating on economic sanctions.

Almost all EU and NATO members have signaled their condemnation for Russia’s action in Ukraine. Hungary has been less vocal, given the country’s economic ties with Russia—just three weeks ago, the two countries agreed to increase Russian gas imports.

Since Tuesday however, Hungary has fallen more in line and recently approved an EU sanction package. Regardless, expect tensions between B9 states and Hungary on its weak response. However, the B9 will seek to create a united front, so expect the meeting to focus on military cooperation rather than pushing for sanctions on still unrealized economic linkages. Russia will likely react by rebuking any increased military buildup on NATO’s eastern flank, only inflaming tensions between the West and Russia.

Wake up smarter with an assessment of the stories that will make headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.