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Romania. Andrzej Duda: Greece’s accession to the Three Seas Initiative is a success of the summit

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President Andrzej Duda assessed that Greece’s accession to the Three Seas Initiative is a success of the Bucharest summit. He also emphasized the importance of the Three Seas infrastructure projects in terms of regional security. – The Three Seas Initiative has shown its value especially recently – he emphasized.

President Andrzej Duda took part in the opening session of the 8th Summit of the Three Seas Initiative in Bucharest on Wednesday. After the talks, he appeared at a joint press conference with the presidents Romania and Lithuania, Klaus Iohannis and Gitanas Nauseda, and the Prime Minister of Croatia, Andrej Plenkovic.

On Wednesday, the President of Romania announced the decision for Greece to join the Three Seas Initiative as its 13th country and the status of Moldova as an associated country. He recalled that Ukraine has also been a country associated with the Three Seas Initiative for a year. Iohannis emphasized that Moldova and Ukraine are moving towards European integration, and the fact that they are associated countries allows them to be included in important infrastructure projects and to create new projects.

He added that on Wednesday, the members of the Initiative confirmed the permanent goals of reducing the development gaps in the region and the rest of the EU, strengthening cohesion within the Union and including the Initiative in strengthening transatlantic relations. He also spoke about the importance of energy and digital infrastructure, as well as a focus on cybersecurity.

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Duda: The Three Seas Initiative “has shown its value”

Andrzej Duda, for his part, emphasized that the success of the summit was Greece’s accession to the Three Seas Initiative. He noted that it was adopted with full membership rights. He also called Moldova’s accession as an associated partner a success.

In his opinion, the Three Seas Summit is particularly important Three Seas Initiative “has shown its value especially recently.” – We saw how important were all the infrastructure projects that we have already managed to undertake as part of the Three Seas Initiative, or how important are those that we intend to implement and those in progress, Duda pointed out.

President Andrzej Duda during the 8th Summit of the Three Seas InitiativeMarcin Obara/PAP/EPA

In his opinion, “war in Ukrainethe need to deliver supplies to Ukraine and export products from Ukraine – so that Ukraine can function as normally as possible in this extremely difficult situation – have shown how important “infrastructural connections in Central Europe” and cooperation between the Three Seas countries are.

The President announced that the Three Seas countries spent over EUR 80 billion on infrastructure projects alone in 2018-2021. – If we add research and development expenses, it is already EUR 117 billion – he added. He noted that new projects are also being analyzed and negotiated, and expressed hope that many of them will be implemented soon.

Duda: it is also a matter of our security

Duda emphasized that energy security and infrastructure projects such as Via Baltica and Via Carpatia are of particular importance for security in the region. – Today, the war in Ukraine has shown that it is also a matter of our security, that sometimes it is simply to be or not to be, the ability to quickly move defense equipment, or the ability to move supplies, supplies, and humanitarian aid. All this is extremely important, without roads (…) this communication and fast transport are simply not possible – he said.

President Andrzej DudaMarcin Obara/PAP/EPA

He emphasized that representatives of other countries, such as the USA, Turkey, also sat at the table of the Three Seas Initiative talks. Great BritainGermany or Japan, as well as large financial institutions, which shows – in his opinion – the value of this cooperation.

When asked about new initiatives within the Three Seas Initiative, President Duda pointed to the issue of “building a high-speed railway between Kiev, Warsaw and the other capitals of the Three Seas countries.” He also said that the members of the Three Seas Initiative want a business development association to be created on Thursday during the business meeting.

Nauseda: our solidarity is universal

The Prime Minister of Croatia, in turn, emphasized the need for cooperation in infrastructure initiatives and the issue of transit of Ukrainian grain. Journalists asked about the latter matter in the context of restrictions imposed by the EU on the export of Ukrainian grain and the efforts of five countries bordering Ukraine to extend restrictions on the import of agricultural products from this country, which is valid until September 15.

The President of Lithuania emphasized in this context that the issue of grain was discussed in Bucharest and it was calculated that the transport of Ukrainian grain through the Baltic ports in Poland could amount to 10 million tons per year, which would be significant support. He pointed out that the issue of grain transit to countries outside the EU, where there is a shortage of it, should be distinguished from grain that remains on the EU market and constitutes competition for EU countries.

Nauseda expressed hope that “our solidarity is universal here and that we will find an appropriate solution that will not put Ukraine in an even more difficult position” and will enable it to transport grain to international markets.

Three Seas Initiative

The Three Seas Initiative has so far brought together 12 countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Hungary. The idea behind this project is to stimulate the economic development of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and to create a stable and coherent partnership of countries in the area between the Baltic Sea, the Adriatic Sea and the Black Sea.

Main photo source: Marcin Obara/PAP/EPA

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