Polish president hopes Nato summit will strengthen eastern flank
Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, has expressed hope that the forthcoming Nato summit in Madrid will approve a new form of the presence of allied troops on the alliance's eastern flank.
Duda, who made the statement aboard a plane flying from Lisbon to Rome on Thursday evening, will pay a visit to Bucharest on Friday to attend a Bucharest Nine summit.
According to the president, the Nato summit, to take place in Madrid in June, will be as important as the one held in Warsaw in 2016, when the presence of allied troops on the alliance's eastern flank was approved.
Duda said he hoped that a new form of this presence "will be increased to the level of brigade groups, that Nato's forces will be strengthened along with the defence infrastructure, which is so needed in our part of Europe in the face of a threat posed by Russia's aggression against Ukraine and the transformation of Belarus into another Russian military district."
The president added that this would be one of the subjects of the Bucharest Nine summit, which was also planned to prepare a joint position for the Nato summit.
The Bucharest Nine (B9) format was launched in 2014 as a Polish-Romanian initiative aimed at coordinating positions and exchanging views in the field of security between the nine countries located across the Baltic and Black Sea regions.
Apart from Poland, Bucharest Nine also comprises Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia.