Karis: US commitment to European security is stronger than ever

B9 meeting in Warsaw on February 22, 2023.
B9 meeting in Warsaw on February 22, 2023. Source: Vabariigi Presidendi Kantselei/Raigo Pajula

President Alar Karis emphasized the importance of strong transatlantic relations and the need to strengthen NATO's eastern flank at the B9 leaders' meeting in Warsaw on Wednesday.

"We consider the continued presence of the United States in the Baltic region extremely important from the point of view of credible deterrence," Karis said.

The president said Russia continues to be a serious military threat to NATO `and this threat must be taken seriously. It is necessary to strengthen the alliance's defense strategy in the coming months, he added.

The security architecture of post-war Europe needs to be rethought and discussed, he said.

"If we want to give Europe long-term peace, our goal must be unambiguously clear - not a single gray zone near Russia, not a single area whose security is undefined, because precisely such areas are the source of instability in the region," Karis said. 

He also called for discussions about Ukraine's NATO membership path to start at the alliance's Vilnius summit in July.

The B9 format includes Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Hungary - NATO's eastern flank members.

U.S. President Joe Biden and NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg. 


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Editor: Helen Wright

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