Eastern European member states would like to increase the Allies' military presence on the bloc's eastern flank, Romanian President Klaus Johannes said Monday after a virtual summit joined by US President Joe Biden.
This is stated in a statement by Reuters, writes "European Truth".
The summit of the Bucharest Nine, a group of countries on NATO's eastern flank, was co-hosted by Johannes and Polish President Andrzej Duda.
The meeting was aimed at agreeing on the positions of the states in the field of security on the eve of the full-scale NATO summit in June.
"As allies on the eastern flank, we must continue to strengthen deterrence and defense. We have all recently witnessed an alarming increase in Russia's military power in our immediate vicinity, in the Black Sea, in Ukraine and around it," Johannis said.
"That is why I have provided evidence, including in discussions with President Biden, for an increase in the Allied military presence in Romania and ... in the south of the eastern flank," he added.
Biden, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the presidents of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia joined the summit by videoconference.
"President Biden expressed support for strengthening NATO's deterrence and defense capabilities, as well as the importance of increasing Allies' resilience to the destructive economic and political actions of our strategic rivals," the White House said in a statement following the meeting.
Stoltenberg did not publicly call for an expanded presence in Eastern Europe, but said in his opening remarks that Biden's participation demonstrated "the US commitment to rebuilding alliances and strengthening NATO."
Earlier this month, Washington said it could increase security assistance to Kyiv after Russia sent troops to the Ukrainian border.