Three Seas Initiative summit praised by US officials

The Three Seas Initiative summit is taking place in Tallinn, Estonia. The initiative has been praised by US officials, US Ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who took part in the talks with member states’ heads of state.

In Tallinn, President Duda said that during his first meeting with then Croatian president, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, they talked about the initiative and considered possible cooperation in Europe, cooperation between central-eastern European countries. “In particular, we talked about energy security and potential gas supplies," Mr Duda said.

Apart from energy, the Three Seas Initiative also promotes the development of transport links, both roads and railway lines, and both for business and tourism, the Polish President said. "This was the beginning of cooperation in this part of Europe. Then we tried to encourage our friends from this region of Europe to join us," he recalled.

On Monday, BGK, Poland's state-owned development bank, announced that it was increasing its share in the Three Seas Fund by investing an additional EUR 250 million, thus raising its commitment to EUR 750 mln. BGK is one of the Fund's founding members.

The Polish president met with his Estonian counterpart Kersti Kaljulaid. Apart from Three Seas issues, the talks concerned regional security, the situation in Belarus, the EU budget and the coronavirus pandemic, President Duda's chief aide Krzysztof Szczerski said.

At the summit, President Duda also spoke with Estonian PM Prime Minister Juri Ratas.

The last event during Duda's one-day visit to Tallinn was a ceremony which launched a Polish-Estonian Chamber of Commerce. The Polish president expressed hope that the Chamber will strengthen Polish-Estonian investment and trade.

"Poland, the biggest economy in the Nordic and Three Seas region may become a vehicle for Estonia to carry out joint economic projects," he said.

The President also stated that the Three Seas region could play a very important role in overcoming the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

US support

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who remotely took part in the talks, said that the initiative, if well financed, could help “pursue common objectives.” He recalled that the US had committed to investing USD 1 bn in infrastructure projects in the region, and called the leaders of the Three Seas countries to draw in private investors to participate in the project.

Moreover, US Ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher wrote in a Twitter post on Monday that "the United States recognizes the importance of #ThreeSeas for a strong and free Europe. We strongly support the #ThreeSeasInitiative and its ability to transform the region. We can keep winning together!"

Due to the pandemic situation, the 5th meeting of representatives of the Three Seas Initiative countries is being held, in part, remotely.