On 20 June 2022, the H.E. President of Latvia Egils Levits hosted the presidents and high-ranking officials of the Three Seas Initiative’s (3SI) member states, as well as representatives of the Initiative's strategic partners - the United States, Germany, and the European Commission - to discuss in the closed meeting current priorities and plans.
During the press conference which followed a closed session of the 3SI Summit, it was emphasized that the key issues on the Summit's agenda are the potential for further development of the Initiative, as well as the strategic role of the 3SI region providing support to Ukraine, both during the war but also considering Ukraine’s recovery perspectives. During the Summit, issues of closer involvement of the Initiative's strategic partners, building cooperation between the 3SI member states, openness for cooperation with like-minded regional and global partners, including participation of the United Kingdom and Japan in the Initiative, as well as cooperation between the governments, and prospects to strengthening the Initiative’s priorities were discussed.
“The Three Seas is a region of growth as our economies are growing faster than in the rest of Europe, and for this reason we aim to foster further development in the three key areas of the Initiative: energy transport and digitalisation, from which energy has become particularly significant considering today's geopolitical context," highlighted the President of Latvia.
The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, attended the Summit online and provided a video speech, noting the role of the 3SI in supporting Ukraine and confirming Ukraine's interest in becoming an active member of the Three Seas Initiative.
"One of the key issues on the Summit’s agenda was Ukraine’s involvement in the Initiative. The Member States unanimously supported Ukraine's struggle for sovereignty and freedom. Ukraine is a democracy that is currently fighting for the values of our region. Europe without Ukraine is not complete. That is why today we discussed ways to bring Ukraine closer to the European Union. With this 3SI Summit and Business Forum, we are starting close cooperation with Ukraine within the framework of the Three Seas Initiative,” emphasized the President of Latvia Egils Levits.
Video speeches were also given by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.
The President of Latvia also announced the Declaration of the Presidents of the 3SI countries, which was adopted in 2022 during a closed session. This year's declaration expresses its unwavering support for Ukraine and its readiness for closer cooperation with Ukraine within the framework of the Three Seas Initiative. It also addresses the Initiative's potential to foster the development of infrastructure projects not only in the region but also with the region's neighbors, thus strengthening EU-led strategies as well as expanding opportunities for transatlantic cooperation. The declaration also emphasizes the importance of developing cooperation in the field of cyber security, emphasizing the region's potential for the development of sustainable projects in the energy, transport, and digital sectors. The document expresses support for the 3SI economic dimension - the 3SI Investment Fund and encourages countries, private investors, and financial institutions to invest in projects that are significant for the development of the region with a commercial return. The 3SI Member States also welcomed the US announcement of a significant financial contribution to the 3SI Investment Fund.
"During the Summit, we also discussed the promotion of cohesion between the countries of this region and the attraction of further investments. And I am therefore particularly pleased with the involvement of the US, the strategic partner of the Initiative, in advancing this issue, announcing today the additional financial contribution to the 3SI Investment Fund, which demonstrates US interest in the region and our growing transatlantic ties,” Levits added.
“A year ago, as we continued to work on the priorities of the Three Seas Initiative, we could not have imagined the circumstances and events that have made the role and existence of this Initiative more crucial than ever. However, there are areas where we have not been compatible - energy, transport, and cybersecurity - these are different priority areas to strengthen the region’s security,” said H.E. Mr Andrzej Duda, President of the Republic of Poland. “Today we reiterated the importance of connectivity of road and rail transport connections, which are essential both for strengthening the region's ties but especially in the context of military mobility. This is the reality we live in today. Our strategic partners, the more developed countries - Germany and the United States - are an example to follow, and we will continue to strengthen our cooperation with the European Commission, whose support for the Initiative is crucial," stressed the President.
During the Summit, the President of Latvia solemnly presented the 3SI flag to the President of Romania H.E. Mr Klaus Werner Iohannis as Romania is the next host country of the Summit in 2023.
Today we discussed a lot about how to position the Initiative in the context of security. And not just in the context of military security, but primarily in the context of transport, energy and digital security," said H.E. Mr Klaus Werner Iohannis, President of Romania. He also added that during the Romania’s Presidency, including in the run-up to the next 3SI Summit and the Business Forum, great emphasis will be placed on the inclusion of Ukraine in the Initiative's activities. The 3SI Summit in Riga was attended by H.E. Mr Egils Levits, President of the Republic of Latvia was joined in the discussions by H.E. Mr Borut Pahor, President of the Republic of Slovenia, H.E. Mr Klaus Werner Iohannis, President of Romania, H.E. Mr Andrzej Duda, President of the Republic of Poland, H.E. Mr Rumen Radev, President of the Republic of Bulgaria, H.E. Dr. Alexander Van der Bellen, Federal President of the Republic of Austria, H.E. Mr Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Federal President of the Republic of Germany, H.E. Mr Gitanas Nausėda, President of the Republic of Lithuania, H.E. Mr Alar Karis, President of the Republic of Estonia, H.E. Ms Katalin Novák, President of the Republic of Hungary, H.E. Mr Miloš Vystrčil, President of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, H.E. Mr Andrej Plenković, Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia, Mr Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, Mr Štefan Holý, Deputy Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic, Mr Scott Nathan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Investments and Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, USA.