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UPDATE: Polish president at Three Seas summit in Estonia

19.10.2020 14:30
Polish President Andrzej Duda was on Monday taking part in a summit of Three Seas Initiative countries in the Estonian capital, Tallinn.
Audio
  • Polish president at the Three Seas Initiative summit in Estonia
Polish President Andrzej Duda attends a summit of Three Seas Initiative countries in Tallinn, Estonia on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020.
Polish President Andrzej Duda attends a summit of Three Seas Initiative countries in Tallinn, Estonia on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020.Photo: KPRP/Igor Smirnow

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 5th Summit of the Three Seas Initiative, a Polish-led regional drive by European countries between the Black, Baltic and Adriatic Seas, was mostly taking place online.

Leaders from across Central and Eastern Europe as well as German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were expected to take part remotely.

The debates were being led by Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid, and, apart from Poland’s Duda, only the Bulgarian head of state, Rumen Radev, was physically present in Tallinn.

Polish President Andrzej Duda (right), with his Estonian counterpart Kersti Kaljulaid (centre) and Bulgaria's Rumen Radev (left) in Tallinn on Monday. Photo: KPRP/Igor Smirnow Polish President Andrzej Duda (right), with his Estonian counterpart Kersti Kaljulaid (centre) and Bulgaria's Rumen Radev (left) in Tallinn on Monday. Photo: KPRP/Igor Smirnow

Margrethe Vestager, a deputy head of the European Commission, was scheduled to join the talks, according to Krzysztof Szczerski, chief of staff to the Polish president.

'Euro-Atlantic unity'

In a statement for the press ahead of the summit, Szczerski underlined the importance of the meeting, saying that three conditions were crucial to defining the future of the Three Seas Initiative region: the course of the COVID-19 pandemic and its socioeconomic impact; decisions affecting “the future financial frameworks" of the European Union; and the outcome of the upcoming presidential election in the United States.

Szczerski said that “the Three Seas states should be unanimous in their reactions, with a focus on Euro-Atlantic unity.”

The Polish presidential minister also told the media that Monday’s meeting would be an opportunity to sum up the achievements of the regional drive, such as the setting up of the Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund and the launch of a joint business forum and a business council by the member states.

The Polish-led Three Seas Initiative aims to boost infrastructure, energy and business ties among 12 countries between the Black, Baltic and Adriatic Seas.

The initiative brings together Poland, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

The initiative’s key partners are Germany, the European Union and the United States.

Polish, US to sign nuclear energy deal

During the summit, Poland’s Secretary of State for Strategic Energy Infrastructure Piotr Naimski was scheduled to hold talks with US Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette.

The talks were expected to culminate in the signing of an intergovernmental deal between the two countries to work together in developing nuclear energy and a civil nuclear power industry in Poland.

Under the document, within 18 months, Poland and the United States will aim to come up with a joint report on the basis of which the Polish government will make a final choice of partner to carry out a programme to develop nuclear energy in the country, according to officials. 

Bilateral talks on the sidelines

While in Tallinn, the Polish president was scheduled to hold separate meetings with his Estonian counterpart Kersti Kaljulaid and the country’s Prime Minister Juri Ratas to discuss bilateral relations and economic ties as well as security in the Baltic region amid tensions in nearby Belarus.

(ab/gs/pk)

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