– The Three Seas Initiative is a joint Polish-Croatian project, launched in 2016, with the aim of strengthening trade, infrastructure, energy and political co-operation among countries bordering the Adriatic, the Baltic and the Black Sea.
– The following 12 countries are part of the initiative:
Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Croatia, Slovenia and Austria.
– Most of the 12 countries were in the Soviet sphere of influence after World War Two until 1989 and more than half of those joined the European Union in 2004. Nearly all are heavily reliant on Russian gas and oil imports.
– Trump plans to promote U.S. natural gas exports as part of his new “energy dominance” policy while attending the summit.
– Ten of the 12 countries have confirmed attendance at the summit. The presidents of the Czech Republic and Austria will be absent.
– Poland, the EU’s largest eastern economy, has constructed a LNG terminal on its Baltic coast and is eyeing potential exports of the imported gas to other countries in the region.
– The summit’s co-organizer Croatia plans to complete its own LNG terminal in 2019.
– Poland’s ruling right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party, at odds with the European Commission over a range of issues including rule of law and migrant policy, has put great importance on strengthening co-operation with other countries in central and eastern Europe.
– The PiS government said the construction of the so-called Via Carpatia highway is the most important regional infrastructure project. This will connect Lithuania’s port of Klaipeda with Thessaloniki in Greece, passing through eastern Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria.
– Currently, there are no north-south highways in eastern Poland and most highways built so far help connect Poland with its biggest trading partner and western neighbor Germany.
– The eurozone is by far the most important trade partner for most countries in central and eastern Europe, with inter-regional trade accounting for a much smaller share.
– In the case of Poland, exports to the eurozone accounted in 2016 for 57 percent of total exports, while exports to non-eurozone EU members such as Hungary, the Czech Republic, Romania and Bulgaria for 23 percent
For Immediate Release
July 06, 2017
Remarks by President Trump at the Three Seas Initiative Summit | July 6, 2017
11:17 A.M. CEST
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you. I greatly appreciate it. This is a beautiful room, I must say. I love beautiful rooms and this is one of them. I want to thank you, President and President. Thank you very much — good to see you again — for hosting this historic summit. I’m honored to be here in a city where, as it’s been said many times before, the impossible has become the possible. And thanks to the 11 leaders in this room, I think that the expression will become the story of this incredible initiative. I want to congratulate you on the great job you’ve done.
This region has special significance to me because, as you know, my wife, is from Slovenia. Right? We spoke about it. Very good. And she loves Slovenia.
Every one of your nations has an inspiring story. You’ve overcame years of oppression, and you all are united by the hope that your citizens will flourish, your commerce will prosper, and your countries will absolutely thrive. That’s what’s going to happen, because I know the people. This is the spirit of hope that brings us all together.
We’re here at this historic gathering to launch a new future for open, fair, and affordable energy markets that bring greater security and prosperity to all of our citizens. We are sitting on massive energy and we are now exporters of energy. So, if one of you need energy, just give us a call.
On behalf of the American people, let me say that we stand with the Three Seas nations. Beautiful nations, by the way. Beautiful country. We support your drive for greater prosperity and security. We applaud your initiative to expand infrastructure. We welcome this historic opportunity to deepen our economic partnership with your region.
It’s been 28 years since your brave citizens lifted the Iron Curtain and defeated communism, yet much of the infrastructure within Central and Eastern Europe has remained a relic of the old Soviet era. It’s pretty incredible. Your people have been held back by the old roads, railways, and pipelines that still operate on restrictive systems.
The Three Seas Initiative will transform and rebuild the entire region and ensure that your infrastructure, like your commitment to freedom and rule of law, binds you to all of Europe and, indeed, to the West.
The United States also strongly supports the creation of the Three Seas Business Forum so that your countries can build cutting-edge projects with the best talent in the energy industry, and do so under budget and ahead of schedule. I love that sound — under budget and ahead of schedule. Nothing like it.
New energy infrastructure is essential to this rebuilding effort. We hope that the Three Seas nations will advance the same goals we are working on to achieve for our people in America. We’re doing tremendously well. Our stock market just hit an all-time high. We have, I think, 16 years — in 16 years it’s the lowest unemployment rate. Our military is getting stronger and stronger. We’re rebuilding it, adding billions and billions of dollars of new equipment. The best equipment in the world. We make the best equipment in the world by far. We’re adding many billions of dollars of brand-new equipment.
And the United States is doing very well — very strong. We’ve taken off restrictions and people are really moving hard. So when I say that the stock market is at an all-time high, we’ve picked up in market value almost $4 trillion since November 8th, which was the election. $4 trillion — it’s a lot of money. Personally, I picked up nothing, but that’s all right. Everyone else is getting rich. That’s okay. I’m very happy.
Greater access to energy markets, fewer barriers to energy trade and development, and strengthening energy security is what we’re looking to do. The Three Seas initiative has the potential to accomplish all of these essential objectives — and very quickly — because you have incredible people, and they will get it done quickly.
I congratulate your nations for already beginning the critical projects that open us up to greater access, and you’ll be totally open and have access to energy markets and remove barriers to energy trade, such as floating LNG terminal on the Croatian island of Krk. Did you ever hear of that? Right? Huh? You know all about that. I bet you know all about it. And the Greece-Bulgaria Interconnector.
These projects and many others are crucial to ensuring that your nations continue to diversify your energy sources, suppliers, and routes. I also applaud Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and Austria for pursuing a pipeline from the Black Sea. We just approved a big pipeline also — the Keystone Pipeline. It was under consideration for many, many years, and it was dead and I approved it in my first day of office. And it’s now under construction. And another pipeline besides that — big ones — Dakota Access.
The United States is proud to see that our abundant energy resources are already helping the Three Seas Nations achieve much-needed energy diversification. In fact, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the government and people of Poland for receiving their first shipment of U.S. liquefied natural gas last month. And you made a very good deal, I understand.
Let me be very clear about one crucial point: The United States will never use energy to coerce your nations, and we cannot allow others to do so. You don’t want to have a monopoly or a monopolistic situation. The United States is firmly committed to open, fair, and competitive markets for global energy trade.
America will be a faithful and dependable partner in the export and sale of our high-quality and low-cost energy resources and technologies. We make the best technology and we make the best, best technology for fighter jets and ships and equipment, military weapons. There’s nobody even close, and that’s acknowledged. All over the world they talk about the greatness of our military equipment. Nobody comes close. So when you buy and as you buy military equipment, hopefully you’ll be thinking only of the United States.
With the expanded trade and new infrastructure, we will unleash incredible energy innovation that is safe, responsible, and environmentally friendly. The United States supports a commonsense approach to protecting natural resources — one that responsibly balances economic growth, job creation, and energy security. We invite all countries to work with us to achieve this objective and to develop innovative technologies that empower nations around the world to be faithful stewards of their natural resources, while lifting millions out of poverty and into great and beautiful futures.
The Three Seas Initiative will not only empower your people to prosper, but it will ensure that your nations remain sovereign, secure, and free from foreign coercion. The Three Seas nations will stand stronger than they have stood before. When your nations are strong, all the free nations of Europe are stronger, and the West becomes stronger as well. Together, our nation and yours can bring greater peace, prosperity, and safety to all of our people.
This summit ushers in the next great energy frontier. This is largely about energy because we are that great exporter. We’ve just become — what’s going on in our country is incredible, and I hope you take advantage of it by using these resources.
I’m thrilled to join you today and I want everyone to know that the United States supports your bold efforts. These projects will improve countless lives across the region and throughout the world. America will be your strongest ally and steadfast partner in this truly historic initiative.
So, congratulations to everybody. And we stand ready, willing, and able to help with your energy needs and other needs as they come along.
Thank you very much.
11:26 A.M. CEST