Hungary can be expelled from the Bucharest Nine security club

As reported by The Financial Times, discussions started among eastern European countries about barring Hungary from the Bucharest Nine (B9) security club. This group includes Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.

Foreign affairs ministers and defense ministers hold regular meetings on the B9 platform to coordinate security policies between the countries.

Now, diplomats from the B9 group have discussed the possibility of excluding Hungary from future meetings of the geographical defense club. At recent meetings, Hungary has vetoed joint conclusions by the group related to increasing aid to Ukraine and endorsements of any moves by NATO to beef up military support for the country or expedite its bid to become a member of the alliance.

Meanwhile, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán last month said he was seeking to “redefine” the terms of his country’s NATO membership because of his opposition to the alliance’s support for Ukraine in its defense war with Russia.

Many national leaders have already expressed that they are running out of patience because of Hungary’s blocking tactics in the EU regarding aid to Ukraine and Kyiv’s accession talks.

B9 leaders meet in Riga on June 11, and officials say that Hungary is again refusing to endorse a draft statement that the others have agreed to. As a result, ongoing debates about barring Hungary are “very serious.” “We are likely meeting in this format for the last time,” said one of the officials. We could expect tough decisions shortly unless Budapest becomes more collaborative, the FT reported.

On the other hand, the office of Lithuania’s president stated in their official comment on the matter that “Hungary is invited to the B9 Summit in Riga on the 11th of June” because “it is important to keep Hungary in for the unity of NATO and the EU.”

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