Bucharest Nine Group

The Bucharest Nine Group comprises of Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Estonia. The organisation was formed in 2015. It was formed under the initiative of Romania and Poland. It is also called Bucharest Format or B9. The group was formed at the Romania capital Rome and hence the name.

Why was B9 formed?

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. The B9 was formed condemning the annexation. The B9 members were either a part of Soviet Union before its disintegration or a sphere of influence. The B9 has proposed to extend the organisation eastward. It wants to include Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. Ukraine is of great importance to US, EU and B9 because it is the buffer between the western world and Russia.

Why is B9 in news recently?

Lithuania recently allowed Taiwan to open an embassy equivalent office in its soil. This angered China. According to China, Taiwan is not a separate country and is an integral part. US and B9 countries are supporting Lithuania actions.

Why did Russia annex Crimea?

The Sea of Azov and Black Sea are connected by Kerch Strait. The Kerch strait is located in Crimea. The strait is an important sea route. Russia can reach Mediterranean countries through this strait. Russia annexed Crime for its strategic location. Crimea was a part of Ukraine. The US and EU are against this annexation. Reason: They do not want Russia to capture the Mediterranean market.

What is the Taiwan issue?

After the 1949 civil war, Taiwan leaders declared Taiwan as a sovereign state. However, China brought in One Country Two System formula. Under this Taiwan was given autonomy. In return, China claimed that Taiwan is its integral part. This was rejected by Taiwan. The economy of Taiwan is strong. US, Japan and several other countries use Taiwan as a gateway to make business with China. Through Taiwan, they can bypass the custom duties and taxes. Thus, they support Taiwan.

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