President Alar Karis will be meeting in Bratislava today with the leaders of the B9 countries on NATO’s eastern flank to discuss the objectives of the forthcoming Vilnius summit and the state of play in regional security, and to press for continued support for Ukraine. The meeting will be attended by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
The Estonian head of state says it is important that NATO continues to reinforce its position on its eastern flank so as to make the defence of every inch of allied territory a reality.
President Karis will also be giving an overview of his recent meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine and stressing the need for continued, broad-ranging support for the Ukrainians and for concrete steps to be taken in the country’s accession to NATO. “As I saw for myself just last week, the situation in Ukraine is serious and the battle a costly one,” he remarked, “which is why we must continue to provide them with military assistance as well.”
Also attending the B9 meeting will be President Zuzana Čaputová of Slovakia, President Klaus Werner Iohannis of Romania and President Andrzej Duda of Poland. The leaders of the eastern flank nations will be giving a joint press conference following the meeting.
The B9 format of countries on NATO’s eastern flank incorporates Bulgaria, Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
From Bratislava President Karis will depart on an official visit to Albania, returning to Estonia on Friday evening.