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Hungary Faces Exclusion from Bucharest Nine

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Photo: Hungary Faces Exclusion from Bucharest Nine. Source: fb-orbanviktor
Photo: Hungary Faces Exclusion from Bucharest Nine. Source: fb-orbanviktor

Diplomats from the Bucharest Nine (B9) countries, Eastern European NATO and EU allies, have discussed Hungary's exclusion from future meetings of the Geographic Defence Club. This was reported by the FT, citing people familiar with the talks.  

The Bucharest Nine, or B9, was founded in 2015. The bloc includes Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia. All of them are former members of the Soviet Union or the Warsaw Pact, and now NATO and EU countries.

Their leaders, foreign ministers and defence ministers meet regularly to coordinate their approach to security policy, including the protection of their eastern borders. 

At recent B9 meetings, Hungary has vetoed joint conclusions by the group of eight countries on increasing assistance to Ukraine and on approving any NATO steps to increase military support for Ukraine or to accelerate its application for membership.

Hungary's blocking tactics in the EU on aid to Ukraine and Kyiv's accession negotiations have also led many allies to lose patience.

The B9 leaders are meeting in Riga today, and officials say Hungary is again refusing to endorse a draft statement that the other members have agreed to.

The discussions over Budapest's exclusion are ‘very serious,’ said one participant, adding that ‘this is probably the last time we will meet in this format.’

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