Bucharest Nine (B 9)


Recently, the Bucharest Nine (B 9) rejected the Russian claim about the eastward “expansion” of North-Atlantic Treaty Alliance organisation (NATO).

About The “Bucharest Nine”

  • It is a group of nine NATO countries in Eastern Europe that became part of the US-led military alliance after the end of the Cold War.
  • They are referred as “countries on NATO’s eastern flank”.
  • Organisation:
    • The Bucharest Nine or Bucharest Format, often abbreviated as the B9.
    • It was founded on November 4, 2015, and takes its name from Bucharest, the capital of Romania.
    • The group was created on the initiative of Klaus Iohannis, who has been President of Romania since 2014, and Andrzej Duda, who became President of Poland in 2015.
  • Significance: the B9 offers a platform for deepening the dialogue and consultation among the participant allied states, in order to articulate their specific contribution to the ongoing processes across the North-Atlantic Alliance, in total compliance with the principles of solidarity and indivisibility of the security of the NATO Member States.
  • Composition: Romania and Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and the three Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
  • All members of the B9 are part of the European Union (EU) and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).
  • B9 Reaction on Ukraine invasion by Russia: The B9 countries have been critical of Russia aggression against Ukraine since 2014, when the war in the Donbas started and Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula.

How is the relationship between B9 and Russia?

  • The B9 countries have been critical of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine since 2014, when the war in the Donbas started and Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula.
  • They criticised the military build-up by Russia in close neighbourhood, in the Black Sea, in and around Ukraine.
  • The U.S. President Biden expressed his support for enhancing NATO’s deterrence and defence posture, as well as the importance of Allies increasing their resilience against strategic competitors.
  • Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy even appealed to the Bucharest Nine for defense aid, sanctions and to pressure on the aggressor.

What is the Three Seas Initiative?

  • B9 should not be confused with Three Seas Initiative (3SI).
  • The 3SI is a regional effort in Europe to expand cross-border energy, transportation, and digital infrastructure and boost economic development in the area between the Adriatic Sea, Baltic Sea, and Black Sea.
  • Twelve countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia), all of which are members of the EU, participate in the 3SI.

India-EU relations: Areas of cooperation

  • Connectivity partnership: launched during India-EU virtual summit held in May, 2021.
  • Aim: to ensure connectivity in the sectors like digital, energy, transport, and people-to-people and enabling the two countries to pursue sustainable joint projects in regions spanning from Africa, Central Asia to the wider Indo-Pacific.
  • Economic Importance:

  • The EU is India’s third largest trading partner, accounting for €62.8 billion worth of trade in goods in 2020 or 11.1% of total Indian trade after China (12%) and the US (11.7%).
  • The EU is the second-largest destination for Indian exports (14% of the total) after the USA.
  • Strategic partnership: India is a suitable partner for India to balance growing influence of China while EU can be a reliant partner of India to ensure stability in the Indo-pacific theatre.
  • Climate change: India can learn from a new industrial strategy called the ‘Green Deal’ of EU to render its carbon-emission neutral by 2050.
  • Cooperation: between India and EU to achieve the goals of Paris Agreement and Other Sustainable Development targets.
  • Cooperation on global health: EU member-states have rallied to support India by sending critical medical supplies in the last few weeks in recognition for the role India had played in helping others over the last year.

Source: Indian Express

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