Zeman will attend an Eastern NATO meeting on Ukraine

Kancelář prezidenta republiky

On Friday, Warsaw will host a presidential summit of the B9 countries, members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) from Central and Eastern Europe. The meeting will focus on the situation in Ukraine. President Zeman will participate in the forum by videoconference.

In addition to hosting Poland and the Czech Republic, the summit will be attended by representatives of Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria, and Romania.

Rudolf Jindrák, the director of the Castle’s diplomacy, said the meeting would take place on the initiative of Polish President Andrzej Duda and is a reaction to the latest developments in Ukraine.

“The purpose is to demonstrate the unity of NATO member states in the eastern and southern wings,” he noted. The outcome is likely to be a joint statement by the presidents.

President Zeman commented only briefly on Russia’s recognition of the separatist republics in eastern Ukraine and the deployment of Russian troops to the region. He stated only that Moscow’s move “increases the risk of military conflict and reduces the hope for a diplomatic solution.” Earlier, he argued that the Russians are not fools to attack Ukraine, which would bring them no gain. He described intelligence information about the planned invasion as a “bluff” by US intelligence agencies.

Polish President Duda and his Lithuanian counterpart Gitanas Nauseda will meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Wednesday to express support for Ukraine.