Hungary could be barred from Eastern European NATO allies’ B9 security group

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June 11. 2024. – 11:29 AM


Financial Times: Hungary could be barred from Eastern European NATO allies' B9 security group

Defence Ministers of the Bucharest Nine at their meeting in Warsaw on 26 April 2023 Photo by Jaap Arriens / NurPhoto via AFP

Tóth Gergely

Andrea Horváth Kávai (translation)

Members of the Bucharest Nine (B9) group, which brings together NATO and EU-member states from the east of Europe, are considering excluding Hungary from their talks in the future.

– the Financial Times reports, citing several diplomatic sources. In its Tuesday newsletter, the prominent British business daily recalls that the B9 was founded in 2015 by Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia – all NATO and EU member states that were part of the Soviet bloc prior to 1991. The organisation does not have an independent institutional structure, but rather functions as a forum where members’ heads of state and government, defence ministers and foreign ministers can coordinate their security policy ideas – particularly in light of the Russian threat, which has been an acute concern since 2014.

However, at recent B9 meetings, Hungary has consistently vetoed decisions about supporting Ukraine and speeding up the process of its potential accession to NATO; and with the Orbán government regularly blocking and obstructing support for Ukraine’s war effort in the EU as well, „many countries have run out of patience”. The final straw was that at the B9 meeting in Riga, which started on Tuesday, the Hungarian side again vetoed a draft resolution, which incidentally has the support of the other eight member states. A diplomat speaking to the Financial Times was quoted as saying:

“We are likely meeting in this formation for the last time.”

However, this intention has not yet been made public; the Lithuanian president’s office told the paper that „it’s important to keep Hungary in, for the unity of NATO and the EU”.

We have sent questions about this information to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and will update this article if they respond.

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