Bucharest Nine
Bucharest Format
Members of the Bucharest Nine
Members of the Bucharest Nine
Establishment4 November 2015

The Bucharest Nine or the Bucharest Format (B9 or B-9; Romanian: Formatul București, Polish: Bukaresztańska Dziewiątka) is an organization founded on 4 November 2015 in Bucharest, Romania, at the initiative of the President of Romania Klaus Iohannis and the President of Poland Andrzej Duda during a bilateral meeting between them.[1] Its members are Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. Its appearance was mainly a result of a perceived aggressive attitude from Russia following the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and its posterior intervention in eastern Ukraine both in 2014. All members of the B9 were either part of the former Soviet Union (USSR) or members of the defunct Soviet-led Warsaw Pact.[2][3]


Since its foundation on 4 November 2015, the Bucharest Nine countries have held several meetings at various levels. A tabular list follows the historical development.[2]

In June 2018, prior to the B9 meeting that year, President of Poland Andrzej Duda spoke out in favour of Ukrainian and Georgian NATO membership ambitions.[4]

On 10 May 2021, during a B9 video conference summit which the President of the United States Joe Biden joined, President of Romania Klaus Iohannis (one of the two hosts of the summit, the other being Duda) called for "stronger allied military presence [...] on the bloc's eastern flank" following the mobilization of Russian troops near the Russian border with Ukraine which had happened some time before.[5]

On 25 February 2022, the B9 group with the addition of Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, gathered in light of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.[6]

The 10 June 2022 B9 summit was attended virtually by the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg,[7] as well as the presidents of the Czech Republic and Slovakia.[8] On it, Duda declared "We want the enhanced forward presence that we have today on NATO's eastern flank to be extended. We want the existing battalion groups to be transformed into brigade groups." Duda added that a brigade group has 3,000 troops, which would mean a "significant and visible strengthening",[9] while Iohannis said that "NATO must be capable to defend every inch of its territory".[10] Iohannis added that the B9 summit agreed in favour of admitting Finland and Sweden into NATO[10] and told participants of the meeting that "security risks to Romania and the Black Sea region are increasing", and in the press release it was written that the meeting was in order to prepare for the most important decisions of NATO's 2022 Madrid summit.[8] Furthermore, the President of Estonia Alar Karis stated during the meeting that all nine members agree that Russia is a threat to NATO.[11]

On 11 October 2022, the B9 presidents, along with the presidents of North Macedonia and Montenegro, condemned and demanded the end of that month's series of Russian missile strikes on Ukrainian civilian targets and described them as war crimes to be punished under international law.[12]

On a 22 February 2023 summit, the heads of state of the Bucharest Nine countries, as well as Biden and Stoltenberg, signed a declaration which issued a condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and called for an enhanced military presence of NATO on the eastern flank of the alliance.[13]


Summits of heads of state

Bucharest Nine summit of heads of state in Warsaw, Poland, on 22 February 2023
B9 summits of heads of state
Year Date Country City Host leader Ref.
2015 4 November  Romania Bucharest Klaus Iohannis [1]
2018 8 June  Poland Warsaw Andrzej Duda [14]
2019 28 February  Slovakia Košice Andrej Kiska [15]
2021 10 May  Romania Bucharest Klaus Iohannis and Andrzej Duda [16]
2022 25 February  Poland Warsaw Andrzej Duda [17]
2022 10 June  Romania Bucharest Klaus Iohannis and Andrzej Duda [18]
2023 22 February  Poland Warsaw Andrzej Duda, Klaus Iohannis and Zuzana Čaputová [19]
2023 6 June  Slovakia Bratislava Zuzana Čaputová, Andrzej Duda and Klaus Iohannis [20]

Summits of ministers of foreign affairs

Bucharest Nine ministerial meeting in Tallinn, Estonia, on 27 October 2021
B9 meetings of foreign affairs ministers
Year Date Country City Ref.
2016 8 November  Romania Bucharest [21]
2017 9 October  Poland Warsaw [22]
2020 10 March  Lithuania Vilnius [23]
2021 27 October  Estonia Tallinn [24]
2022 31 March  Slovakia Bratislava [25]
2023 31 March  Poland Łódź [26]

Summits of ministers of defence

B9 meetings of defence ministers
Year Date Country City Ref.
2018 12–14 March  Romania Bucharest [27]
2019 4 April  Poland Warsaw [28]
2021 25 November  Romania Bucharest [29]
2022 6 June Videoconference N/A [30]
2023 26 April  Poland Warsaw [31]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Bilateral visit of President of Romania, Mr. Klaus Iohannis, in the Republic of Poland and his participation in the High Level Meeting of the Bucharest Format (B9), on 7-8 June 2018". President of Romania. 5 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b Gerasymchuk, Sergiy (2019). "Bucharest Nine: looking for cooperation on NATO's eastern flank?" (PDF). Friedrich Ebert Foundation. pp. 1–10.
  3. ^ Rotaru, Vasile; Umland, Andreas (10 November 2017). "How Romania and Poland can strengthen NATO and the EU". Foreign Affairs.
  4. ^ ""We count on decisions from the B9 and NATO summits"". President of Poland. 7 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Romanian, Polish presidents call for stronger Nato presence on the eastern flank". bne IntelliNews. 11 May 2021.
  6. ^ "President von der Leyen participates in Bucharest Nine (B9) Summit in Warsaw and in special NATO Summit". Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations. 25 February 2022.
  7. ^ "NATO Secretary General takes part in B9 Summit". NATO. 10 June 2022.
  8. ^ a b "Summit B9. Joe Biden: "US is committed to defending NATO's eastern flank." Iohannis: "Security risks are growing"". Teleradio-Moldova. 10 June 2022.
  9. ^ "NATO's eastern nations want better protection from alliance". Mainichi Shimbun. 11 June 2022.
  10. ^ a b "NATO must be capable to defend every inch of its territory: Romanian President". TVP World. 10 June 2022. Archived from the original on 7 December 2022.
  11. ^ Whyte, Andrew, ed. (11 June 2022). "President Karis: B9 states unanimous in call to augment NATO eastern flank". Eesti Rahvusringhääling.
  12. ^ "Bucharest Nine presidents: mass bombing of Ukraine is Russia's war crime". TVN24. 11 October 2022.
  13. ^ "Bucharest Nine leaders, U.S. President, NATO SecGen sign joint declaration". TVP World. 22 February 2023.
  14. ^ "President Iohannis attends the B9 summit in Warsaw". Nine O'Clock. 8 June 2018.
  15. ^ "NATO Secretary General stresses importance of transatlantic unity on visit to Slovakia". NATO. 28 February 2019.
  16. ^ Gabaroi, Bogdan (10 May 2021). Panaitescu, Adina (ed.). "Bucharest Format Summit (B9) hosted by President Iohannis together with his Polish counterpart". Agerpres. Archived from the original on 7 December 2022.
  17. ^ "President says an honest Europe must halt aggression". The First News. 25 February 2022.
  18. ^ "Bucharest-9 summit has begun, Hungary is represented by President Novák". Hungary Today. 10 June 2022.
  19. ^ Widakuswara, Patsy (22 February 2023). "Biden, Stoltenberg Meet Bucharest Nine Leaders in Warsaw". Voice of America. Retrieved 22 February 2023.
  20. ^ "Čaputová otvorila summit B9, vyzvala na podporu Ukrajiny" (in Slovak). News Agency of the Slovak Republic. 6 June 2023.
  21. ^ "Foreign Ministers of nine allied states of the Eastern Flank, NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller meet in Bucharest to discuss security in the region". Nine O'Clock. 8 November 2016.
  22. ^ "Meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers of the Bucharest 9 Format". Embassy of Romania in Warsaw. 9 October 2017.
  23. ^ "Vilnius hosted the Bucharest Nine meeting of ministers of foreign affairs". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania. 12 March 2020.
  24. ^ "NATO's Eastern Flank foreign ministers discuss security in Europe, future of the Alliance and new strategic concept". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia. 27 October 2021.
  25. ^ "NATO Deputy Secretary General participates in meeting of B9 countries". NATO. 31 March 2022.
  26. ^ Wright, Helen, ed. (31 March 2023). "Estonian FM: It's time to annul the NATO-Russia Founding Act". Eesti Rahvusringhääling.
  27. ^ Gheorghe, Georgeta (12 March 2018). "Ministers of Defence of 'Bucharest 9' initiative meet at Palace of Parliament". European Business Review.
  28. ^ "National Security Bureau head: Bucharest Nine unity strengthens NATO". President of Poland. 5 April 2019.
  29. ^ "B9 countries in solidarity with hybrid aggression". Ministry of National Defence of Poland. 25 November 2021.
  30. ^ "Bucharest 9 Defence Ministers Meeting". Ministry of National Defence of Romania. 7 June 2022.
  31. ^ "Bucharest Nine stand united in efforts to strengthen security". Ministry of National Defence of Poland. 26 April 2023.