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Submitted by JP on Thu, 04/11/2024 - 16:38
Polish President Andrzej Duda Hopes Volodymyr Zelenskyy will be wearing a suit at next Three Seas Summit

The Three Seas Initiative has been the most important platform for regional cooperation over the past nine years, Polish President Andrzej Duda said at the Three Seas Initiative Business Forum in Vilnius. 

President of Poland Andrzej Duda (R), Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky (L) and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda attend the press conference during the Three Seas (3SI) Summit at the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania in Vilnius, Lithuania, 11 April 2024. Photo by TOMS KALNINS/PAP/EPA

The main topics of Thursday's summit in the Lithuanian capital were the development of infrastructure projects and cooperation in the areas of energy, transport and digital technologies.

'Joint projects within our initiative are attracting partners from other parts of Europe and the world. The said projects include among others the Baltic Pipe and its interconnectors with Lithuania, Slovakia and Ukraine, the Via Carpathia transnational highway network, the Amber Rail Freight Corridor (RFC Amber) – connecting the Adriatic sea ports of Slovenia with Hungary, Slovakia and Poland, and Rail Baltica – a project of fast rail participated by Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, with Finland as an external partner', said Andrzej Duda, who today in Vilnius took part in a discussion entitled "3SI: Building resilience and prosperity".

“Energy weapon”

The President of Poland also underscored the need for further infrastructure expansion to enhance the region’s resilience against threats such as Russia. 'Russia`s full–scale invasion of Ukraine confirmed that our countries were right in setting–up the Three Seas Initiative. When the Russian Federation used the “energy weapon” and stopped gas supplies for its trade partners, the Three Seas states already had in place alternative sources and routes of supply of this strategic raw material. Energy security is connected with military security. Historical experiences of the countries in our region, and in particular the last two years of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, motivate us to deepen our cooperation within the Three Seas Initiative. The neo–imperial Kremlin regime made a clear declaration of its will to restore the Russian sphere of influence in Central Europe and its will to weaken, intimidate and subjugate the countries in our region' - argued the Polish president.

Peace in this part of Europe

During the press conference, Andrzej Duda also addressed the Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy. 'I believe, Volodymyr, that you will be able to arrive wearing a suit, as the president of a country that is no longer at war, as the president of a country that has returned to stability and restored peace and tranquillity. This is my sincere wish from the bottom of my heart for Ukraine’s people and society. We really need peace in this part of Europe. And I sincerely believe that we will achieve it once we become stronger', Andrzej Duda stressed in Vilnus. He also said he had held a discussion with Zelenskyy "about a certain stockpile of rockets dating back to the Soviet era, which Poland now has at its disposal". "They are now in warehouses and we talked about handing them to the Ukrainian anti-rocket defense forces", Andrzej Duda said.

The Polish President emphasized that supporting Ukraine, which is fighting against Russia, is important, but the Three Seas Initiative countries cannot forget about building their own deterrence potential. In this context, the President pointed out the need to develop infrastructure, including: due to the need to quickly move military transports.

The Three Seas Initiative (3SI or TSI), known also as the Three Seas (Polish: Trójmorze), is a forum that brings together thirteen EU countries near the Baltic, Black and Adriatic Seas (which gave it its name): Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Greece. The strategic partners of the Three Seas Initiative are the United States, Germany, and the European Commission. Japan joined them at the Vilnius summit.

The 9th summit of the Three Seas Initiative, which took place today in Vilnius was attented by delegations from 25 countries and 10 heads of state, including the Polish President Andrzej Duda, Czech President Petr Pavel, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and others.