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Jun 11, 2018

President Áder reveals B9 group support NATO integration of Western Balkans

President Áder also said that B9 participants had discussed ways to increase NATO’s budget and enhance security in member states

President János Áder has revealed that the presidents of the Bucharest Nine group support a policy of “Open Doors” in NATO to help countries in the Western Balkans join the organization.

President Áder said that participants had unanimously agreed with plans of NATO’s expansion in the Western Balkans and highlighted that the region should be integrated as soon as possible for security reasons.

According to MTI, each applicant country’s meeting entry criteria would be assessed separately. The B9 group consists of presidents of the Visegrad countries, the Baltic states, Romania and Bulgaria.

President Áder added that participants had discussed ways to increase NATO’s budget and enhance security in member states. He added that eight out of the 29 members have increased their defense spending to reach 2 percent of their GDP, as required by NATO, while 12 countries have not even come up with a schedule to do so.

Hungary has a schedule which envisages that defense spending should reach 2 percent of GDP by 2024, the president said.

He concluded that a higher defense spending will safeguard the country’s security and help improve defense capabilities in light of the “increased terrorist threat and expected higher migration pressure”.