The US ambassador to Poland, Mark Brzezinski, said that the United States supports the Three Seas Initiative. – We will be very closely watching how the Three Seas Initiative cooperates and develops towards the potential involvement of Ukraine as well – he added during the panel “The Three Seas Initiative – Ukraine – challenges of cooperation” in Lublin. Ukraine’s Ambassador to Poland, Andriy Deschytsya, emphasized that thanks to the Initiative, Ukraine can already start working with European Union countries.
On Monday, US Ambassador to Poland Mark Brzezinski participated in the panel “Three Seas Initiative – Ukraine – challenges of cooperation” during the Local Government Three Seas Congress in Lublin.
Brzezinski emphasized that the current cooperation between Poland and the United States in the context of aid for Ukraine will have “important consequences for future generations.” – As never before, we have unique opportunities to build a Polish-American brotherhood, a Polish-European brotherhood. This is a great opportunity for us – emphasized the US ambassador to Poland.
– The United States is not a member, but supports the Three Seas Initiative – said the diplomat. – We will be very closely watching how the Three Seas Initiative cooperates and develops towards the potential involvement of Ukraine as well – added Brzezinski.
The Ukrainian ambassador to Poland, Andriy Deschytsia, who attended the meeting, pointed out that Russia’s attack on Ukraine resulted not only in the unification of Ukrainian society, but also in the unification of societies in Central Europe. – This union is very important not only to win the war (…), but also to build new relations in the region and Europe. “Thanks to Putin” we have a chance in Ukraine to join the European Union and NATO (…), but we also have a chance to get closer to the nations and states of Central Europe and build new relations on new levels – added Deszczycia.
The Ukrainian diplomat emphasized that Ukraine cares not only about cooperation with the countries of the Three Seas Initiative, but also about EU membership. – Through initiatives such as the Three Seas Initiative, we can already start working with European Union countries, joining those projects that are implemented in these countries – added the Ukrainian ambassador to Poland.
“Natural direction of development”
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Paweł Jabłoński described Ukraine’s membership in the Three Seas Initiative as “the natural direction of development of this Initiative”. – It is absolutely natural for us to cooperate as closely as possible with Ukraine. Even before the attack by Russia, we emphasized this very strongly, he said. He added that transport connections with Ukraine are especially important today. – We can see how strongly they can have a global impact on supply chains. This blockade of ports – it might seem only in the region – has a very strong impact also on Africa and the Middle East – said Jabłoński.
The deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also stressed that Ukraine should be incorporated into the European Union as soon as possible. – We are in favor of Ukraine receiving the official candidate status now. In fact, in our opinion, there is no reason to put it off, although we know that many countries in the EU have a different opinion. We will make very much political effort to make it happen as soon as possible – assured Jabłoński.
According to him, Ukraine should also belong to the Three Seas Initiative. – However, all Member States have to agree to this – he added. – We will encourage other countries to express such support as well, he announced. us in a virtual form (…) I think that his presence will also be a very important signal of the close relations between the Three Seas and Ukraine – relations that will turn into full membership in the future – said the deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Post-war reconstruction plan
Ambassador Brzezinski admitted that it depends on the members of the Initiative “in what form Ukraine will be part of this initiative”. – However, we are aware of the importance of this regional cooperation – said Brzezinski, informing at the same time that the USA will also actively participate in the Riga summit.
Referring to the question of the reconstruction of Ukraine after the war, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Jabłoński emphasized that “this reconstruction begins today”. As he recalled, this issue was covered last week by intergovernmental Polish-Ukrainian consultations. – We must do everything possible to secure the appropriate financial resources that will be allocated for this (reconstruction of Ukraine). The position of the Polish government is very clear: these funds – at least in a very large part – should be taken from the aggressor. We say very clearly, a permanent, full confiscation of the assets of the Russian Federation, foreign exchange reserves, and the assets of the oligarchs should be made. This money is the means by which Russia should pay for its crimes, it should pay compensation and bear the costs of this war – assessed Jabłoński.
Referring to the plan for the reconstruction of Ukraine after the war, the US ambassador to Poland, Mark Brzezinski, noted that two weeks ago the US Congress resolved to transfer 50 billion dollars to help Ukraine. – This shows how important it is for Washington to support Ukraine – assured the ambassador.
A challenge for the whole world
Andriy Deszczycia added that the reconstruction of Ukraine is also a big challenge for the whole world. – We are all interested in Ukraine being an example of how it is possible to bring about reconstruction, development, and the future after such destruction caused by Russia in Ukraine. Poland will certainly play a very important role in the reconstruction of Ukraine, said Deszczycia, thanking the residents of the border provinces: Lubelskie and Podkarpacie for helping the escaping Ukrainians in recent months.
During the two-day Local Government Three Seas Congress, regional cooperation of the Three Seas Initiative will be discussed, also in the face of the armed conflict in Ukraine. The discussions will concern, inter alia, transport infrastructure, energy security, digital science, European funds and agricultural development. The event is accompanied by the Economic Forum, during which seminars, B2B meetings and study visits to establish business contacts are planned.
The Three Seas Initiative brings together 12 countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Hungary. The idea of this project is to stimulate the economic development of Central and Eastern European countries and to create a stable and coherent partnership of countries from the area between the Baltic Sea, the Adriatic Sea and the Black Sea.
Main photo source: PAP / Wojtek Jargiło