On 6 June, President of Latvia Egils Levits participated in the meeting of the Heads of State of the NATO Eastern Flank countries (B9 - Bucharest Nine) in Bratislava, where, in preparation for the upcoming NATO Summit in Vilnius, the state leaders discussed the current security challenges in the region and necessary actions to provide political and practical support to Ukraine.
"We need to send a clear message to Ukraine that it will become a NATO member soon after the end of the war. Only Ukraine's full accession to the Alliance would ensure peace in Ukraine and in Europe," emphasised President Egils Levits.
E. Levits also noted that it is important that the decisions taken at the NATO Summit in Madrid were put into practice and that this would be clearly visible both to the aggressor and to the public of the NATO Eastern flank countries. These include providing immediate protection in the event of invasion, increasing NATO's enhanced battle groups to brigade level, and strengthening air and missile defence.
The President of Latvia pointed out that NATO members had a duty to do everything possible to protect themselves. Member states must also continue to help Ukraine win this war and make its armed forces more compatible with NATO. "NATO members will continue to provide increased military assistance to Ukraine for as long as necessary," said E. Levits.
NATO Eastern flank countries leaders also discussed the need to develop a reconstruction plan for Ukraine soon, so that when the war is over with a Ukrainian victory, everyone knows what needs to be done.
In a joint statement, the Heads of State reaffirmed the unwavering support of NATO's Eastern flank countries for Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.