Poland, other B9 countries call for bolstering of Nato's eastern flank

Poland and its eight Bucharest Nine (B9) peers, which make up the eastern flank of Nato, have urged the alliance to pull more resources to the region to prevent any Russian aggression against them.

In a joint statement issued after their summit in Bratislava on Tuesday and published on the Polish President's Office's website, the nine leaders said that Russia was the most significant and direct threat to Allies' security and that everyone needed to be prepared for this to remain so.

As such, the B9 members "have enhanced the Allied military presence in the Eastern Flank, from the Baltic to the Black Sea, and we are substantially strengthening our posture for deterrence and forward defence, as defensive measures."

"NATO's commitment to protecting every inch of Allied territory and to Article 5 is ironclad. We expect that the Vilnius Summit will further strengthen NATO's defence posture on the Eastern Flank in order to deter and deny any opportunity for aggression," the statement read.

The leaders also expressed their commitment to invest more, individually and collectively, in defence.

"All our actions must be adequately resourced and enabled," the B9 added. "We expect the Vilnius Defence Investment Pledge to commit to 2 percent of GDP for defence becoming a floor, not a ceiling, and encourage all Allies to do so.

"We will coordinate our activities in order to further expand our defence production capacities and to strengthen our capabilities and ensure adequate supplies."

The leaders of the Bucharest Nine also reiterated their support for Ukraine: "We reaffirm our unwavering support for Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.

"This is the only way to restore peace and the rules–based order in Europe. We condemn in the strongest possible terms the unjustified and illegal brutal war against Ukraine," they said.