The 2018 edition of the Three Seas Initiative summit will be hosted by Romania, Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis said Thursday while attending this year’s edition of the summit in Warsaw.
“We don’t want to develop initiatives that separate us from the rest of the European Union”
The Head of State said that the 12 states will establish joint objectives, but the objectives will fit with the objectives of the European Union.
“I’ve invited the participants to hold this summit in Romania next year and it was an invitation that was immediately accepted. (…) We’ll outline several objectives along with the others too. We don’t want to develop initiatives that separate us from the rest of the European Union. We want to develop initiatives that help our countries, but that fit perfectly within the European Union’s big objectives. So, if we have objectives, yes, we too want to enjoy projects that develop Romanian infrastructure, we too want to contribute to and benefit from energy security. All of these are our goals too,” President Klaus Iohannis stated.
Iohannis added that, in order to have energy security, energy “availability” is also needed, being necessary for Romania to take advantage of energy market offers. He also emphasised that at this moment a great part of the European Union is nevertheless dependent on Russian natural gas.
“In my opinion, we must be very realistic and we should first of all think about our economies. If we want to have energy security we must have energy availability, namely we must take advantage of all energy offers on the market and this way obtain, in the end, very good conditions for our economies, and I don’t believe someone should fear this new offer of liquefied natural gas. If the price and delivery conditions are good and fit our norms, then it’s an additional source and the discussion is older within the EU. Here, not necessarily Romania but a big part of the EU depends very much on Russian natural gas. If this dependence were to drop via another offer, if it’s good, then everyone stands to win. The more numerous the offers the more advantaged the consumer is,” Iohannis added.
He added that the summit in Romania may feature a special guest, as US President Donald Trump was at the Warsaw summit.
“Surely we can think of such thing, but I believe the important thing is finding projects for our region that fit into the European programme, but we are very much open. We are promoting free and fair trade under excellent terms, but, on the other hand, we want to also stand to profit from all the economic offerings to the advantage of our countries,” said Iohannis.
He mentioned that the first edition of the Three Seas Initiative summit took place in New York in 2007, on the side-lines of a UN meeting. “Back then, there were few presidents attending, and attendance in general was nothing famous, but in some very few years we have managed to turn it into something very attractive not only to ourselves and to Europeans, but also to Americans,” said Iohannis.
The Head of State pointed out that our country’s objectives are to attract investments and to develop infrastructure in order to create a corridor between the Baltic States and the Balkans, a corridor that would go through Romania. Another topic discussed was that of energy security and the diversification of energy sources.
Iohannis stated that the goal of the summit is to come up with North-South corridors that would link the three seas: the Adriatic Sea, the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea. According to the President, these “corridors” should be both by road and by rail, but also in the field of data and energy transport.
“A more special aspect for us is the fact that we’ve invited the participants to hold next year’s summit in Romania, an invitation that was immediately accepted,” the Head of State said.
The Head of State was also asked about the possibility of a North-South corridor that would go through Romania, stating that this topic has been discussed, being a project that must be achieved.
Another topic concerned American liquefied natural gas as an alternative source of energy. Asked whether this project could clash with the interests of Germany, which endorses Nord Stream and Russian natural gas, the President confirmed that the topic was tackled.
“In my opinion, we must be very realistic and think first of all about our economies. If we want to have energy security, we must have energy availability, we must take advantage of all the energy offers on the market. (…) I don’t believe someone should fear this offer of liquefied gas. If the conditions fit our norms, it’s an additional source,” Iohannis said.
He emphasised that lowering dependence on Russian natural gas would be to Europe’s advantage, even though this is not an issue that necessarily affects Romania.
Heads of State and their representatives from 12 Central and Eastern European countries are taking part in the ‘Three Seas Initiative’: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Hungary. The ‘Three Seas Initiative’ seeks to offer political support for better cooperation and interconnection between the economies of the states located in the geographical area flanked by the three seas – the Adriatic Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea –, in fields such as energy, transport, telecommunications or environment protection.
Romania will continue to be active, committed supporter of vital trans-Atlantic relationship
Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis said Thursday in Warsaw that the trans-Atlantic relationship is vital, underscoring that Romania is its active and committed supporter.
“Romania will continue to be an active and committed supporter of the trans-Atlantic relationship, which is vital because it is the very spine of our Western civilisation. We have to work together to make it stronger. I believe it is commonly acknowledged that the EU needs the US and the United States needs the EU,” Iohannis said in a speech on Thursday to the first edition of the Three Seas Initiative summit meeting in Warsaw.
Iohannis added that the presence of the US President Donald Trump in Central and Eastern Europe is highly appreciated and seen as clear evidence to the US commitment to the security and prosperity of the region and the entire Europe.
“The US President’s presence is at the same time proof to an increased commitment on the part of the US to expend economic ties with its European partners in order to achieve our common prosperity,” said Iohannis.
He also mentioned his June visit to the United States. “I am firmly convinced that after our meeting the bilateral relationship is stronger than ever, and I hope it indicated that you can always count on Romania to be one of NATO’s and America’s most trustworthy allies as well as an actively committed partner,” said Iohannis.
He added that Romania is also a firm supporter of unity inside a renewed European Union that has to go hand in hand with trans-Atlantic unity.
Iohannis said that this June the 70th anniversary of the Marshall Plan was celebrated, pointing out that the US support for Central and Eastern Europe in areas such as investment is highly important.
“Times have changed, but its spirit has to be remembered and preserved. Economic efficiency and the welfare of our citizens remain premises of political stability and peace, in George Marshall’s words. Today, we should all find inspiration in these critical moments. Our region and our citizens can stand to profit from our increased competitiveness and connectivity, from the development of an improved culture of cooperation in order to achieve our economic potential. Given the context, the US support for Central and Eastern Europe, through investment, technology, know-how – remains extremely important,” concluded Iohannis, who together with leaders of 12 other countries, participated in The Three Seas Initiative Summit with the US President Donald Trump attending as special guest.
“ Trump’s speech in Warsaw, very good; he reiterated importance of Article 5”
Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis has appreciated the public speech delivered by his US counterpart, Donald Trump, in Warsaw, showing that Trump underscored that the US will respect Article 5 in the North-Atlantic Treaty.
“The content of President Trump’s speech of principle was very good. He reiterated that Article 5 is obviously very important and will be fully respected by the US. It is the article in the NATO contract, if I may say so, which guarantees that any member country supports any other if needed,” President Klaus Iohannis said on Thursday.
He said that the first session of The Three Seas Initiative devoted to the transatlantic relation was very good and constructive.
Romanian soldiers, on stage during Trump’s speech in Warsaw
Romanian, American, Polish and British soldiers were on stage, Donald Trump pointed out in a speech in which he expressed his commitment to collective defence within NATO. In the speech he delivered on Thursday, in Warsaw, he called for the defence “of our Western civilisation” which faces, in his opinion, challenges to its existence.
“We are proudly joined on stage by American, Polish, British and Romanian soldiers. Thank you. Thank you. Great job,” the American President said in the first part of the speech in which he thanked Melania Trump for giving a speech before him, stating that there is no better ambassador than her.
He also thanked the Polish people for “enriching the region,” but also Polish Americans who voted for him in the elections, President Andrzej Duda and Poland’s First Lady for “the enormous warmth and kindness” with which they welcomed him, Premier Beata Szydlo and ex-President Lech Walesa who were in the audience.