President Klaus Iohannis announced on Monday in Riga that Romania will host again in 2023 the Three Seas Initiative Summit (3SI) and the 3SI Business Forum.
“In 2018, we have successfully organized the Summit and the Business Forum in Bucharest, and five years later, in 2023, Romania will host once again this important event. This decision, which we announced today in the plenary of our meeting, reconfirms the major importance that Romania attaches to this regional format of cooperation. Taking over the mandate of organizing the events of next year’s Initiative brings back to the Black Sea the decision-making center of the Initiative,” said the president of Romania, at the joint press conference with counterparts from Latvia, Egils Levits, and Poland, Andrzej Duda.
The president said that at the Riga summit it was analyzed how the Initiative should position itself in the current European security context, especially the contribution it can bring through the implementation of strategic interconnection projects, in the three basic areas – transport, energy, digital – pointing out that it is important to recalibrate the response of the Initiative on the multidimensional level, with the same focus on achieving the basic objectives of the Initiative.
President Iohannis welcomed the speech at the meeting of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, with the message that Ukraine needs the support of the Initiative and the participating states.
In this context, the Romanian president reiterated the support that Romania gives to Ukraine and its citizens.
“As a host country of the upcoming Summit and the Business Forum of the Initiative, Romania will explore all the possibilities through which the Initiative can help Ukraine. In particular, we will focus on interconnection projects in which Ukraine could participate, as a partner of the Initiative. At the same time, Romania firmly believes that both the Republic of Moldova and Georgia – which, like Ukraine, are on the same road to the European Union – must receive the same support from us, because their resilience is hard-pressed at this time,” President Iohannis said.
He stressed that, in preparation for next year’s Summit, Romania will continue to support the strengthening of the Initiative.
“We will thus act to strengthen its instruments – the Business Forum, the Investment Fund and the other formats successfully developed so far. We will encourage new investments of the Fund,” Iohannis said.
President Iohannis pointed out that, from the perspective of Romania’s interests, it is encouraging that recently, on the sidelines of the Economic Forum in Davos, an agreement was signed between the Romanian company Transgaz and the Investment Fund of the Initiative, aimed at developing the infrastructure and the connectivity of natural gas, with the integration of hydrogen transport, from our country, the value of the projects being estimated at 626 million euros.
“Two other projects, which represent priorities for Romania, are the initiatives Rail2Sea and Via Carpathia, whose implementation will improve our links, but also the military mobility and resilience in the field of infrastructure in the region, which prove essential in the current geopolitical context,” Iohannis said.
The president welcomed the strong and clear commitment expressed by the Initiative’s partners – the US, Germany and the European Commission.
He said that, during Romania’s new mandate at the head of the Initiative, our country will act in full coordination with the strategic agenda of the European Union, as well as in the direction of strengthening the transatlantic partnership and will make all the necessary efforts to attract international financial organizations, but also the international private environment, in order to achieve the 3SI goals.
“At the same time, we are pleased with the interest shown in the Initiative by the United Kingdom and Japan. In the next year, we intend to develop the dialogue with these states in order to identify concrete possibilities for cooperation,” President Iohannis said.
He said that through all these actions, Romania will continue to contribute to reducing development gaps and strengthening resilience in the Three Seas region, “for the benefit of the prosperity of our citizens, including as a concrete response to today’s challenges at our borders.”
President Klaus Iohannis attends, on Monday, the 7th edition of the Three Seas Initiative Summit and the 4th edition of the 3SI Business Forum, organized by Latvia, in Riga. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken sent messages at the summit.