The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an interview with Atlantic Council think-tank that because of the situation in Belarus, supporting the Three Seas Initiative “became even more important.”
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“We have offered up to a billion dollars for support for the Three Seas Initiative. We have provided defense support too through our extended readiness efforts through rotational forces operating in those regions as well. And we have put a real diplomatic push into connecting these countries, to your point, on that north-south axis. And in light of what we are seeing taking place in Belarus today, this becomes even more important,” Mr Pompeo said.
The US Secretary of State pointed out that the Three Seas Initiative is also important to counter the threat coming from the actions of the Chinese Communist Party.
“We have certainly been working as part of the Three Seas Initiative to recognize the threat that the Chinese Communist Party can pose to the nations around these three seas. We have done the same thing in NATO. We have asked NATO to relook their strategy to make sure they incorporate the threats that the Chinese Communist Party imposes to NATO nations as well, whether those are cyber threats or threats from space or communication threats to telecommunications infrastructure that could deny NATO the operational capabilities that it will need in time of conflict,” he stressed.
“It is certainly the case that there is an effort to make sure that we are respecting the threats that are posed not only by the Chinese Communist Party, but certainly by the NATO historic adversarial relationship with Russia as well,” Mr Pompeo added.
The interview with Mr Pompeo was conducted by the head of Atlantic Council Frederick Kempe and mostly concerned the Middle East issues and American-Chinese rivalry.
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The Three Seas Initiative was founded in 2015, with Polish President Andrzej Duda and former Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović the driving forces behind its creation.
The group consists of Austria and 11 EU member states which were confined behind the Iron Curtain until 1989 - Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Slovenia. These countries lie between the three seas: the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, and the Adriatic Sea.
The group constitutes one-third of the EU’s total territory and includes more than 112 million inhabitants. The US and Germany are the group’s official strategic partners.