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UPDATE: Ukraine becomes partner of Europe’s Three Seas Initiative

20.06.2022 18:30
Poland’s president on Monday announced that Ukraine had become a participating partner in the Three Seas Initiative of 12 European Union countries.
Polands President Andrzej Duda addresses a summit of Three Seas Initiative leaders in the Latvian capital Riga, on Monday, June 20, 2022.
Poland's President Andrzej Duda addresses a summit of Three Seas Initiative leaders in the Latvian capital Riga, on Monday, June 20, 2022.Photo: KPRP/Marek Borawski

Andrzej Duda made the announcement after the first day of the summit of the regional drive in the Latvian capital Riga, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

The Polish president told a media briefing: “We all support the proposed granting of European Union candidate status to Ukraine. We are absolutely convinced that Ukraine will receive this status.”

Ukraine granted partnership with Three Seas Initiative

He added: “We decided to create a new kind of partnership with the Three Seas Initiative and to grant it to Ukraine.”

Duda said that other Central European countries that aspire to the EU could also become participating partners of the Three Seas club.  

Three Seas Initiative 'opens its arms to Ukraine’ 

“The Three Seas Initiative opens its arms to Ukraine,” the Polish president also said. 

He told reporters that the first day of the Riga summit was dominated by the situation in Ukraine and the stance of Three Seas countries on the issue of Russian aggression.

Three Seas leaders also discussed infrastructure development and ways to deepen links in energy security as well as cooperation within NATO, officials told reporters. 

According to the Polish president, priority should be given to “strengthening infrastructure links, including gas and power connections, between the countries of the region.”

Duda told reporters it was about building “energy security, transport security and cyber security” in this part of Europe.

Riga summit    

The two-day Riga summit, hosted by Latvian President Egils Levits, features leaders from the 12 Three Seas countries, as well as representatives for the initiative’s partners: the United States, Japan, Germany and the European Commission. 

During Monday's proceedings, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the gathering via video link from Kyiv.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also made a video speech to the summit.

Meanwhile, it was decided that the next Three Seas summit would take place in Romania in 2023.

Three Seas Initiative

The Three Seas Initiative brings together EU countries between the Baltic, Black, and Adriatic Seas: Poland, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Hungary.

It seeks to deepen political, economic, energy and infrastructure ties between its members.

The initiative was launched in 2015 by Poland's Duda and the Croatian president at the time, Kolinda Grabar–Kitarović.

Monday was day 117 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


Source: PAP, prezydent.pl3seas.eu

Click on the audio player above for a report by Radio Poland's Agnieszka Bielawska.