A virtual summit of the Three Seas Initiative was hosted by Estonia in the capital Tallinn on Monday. The Three Seas Initiative is a forum of twelve European Union member states, running along a north-south axis from the Baltic Sea to the Adriatic Sea and the Black Sea in Central and Eastern Europe, which aims to create an Intermarium-based regional dialogue on various questions affecting its member states.
Although the summit was a meeting of the presidents of member states, Croatia was represented by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković. In his address Prime Minister Plenković noted that as with other member states, Croatia had tasked its Foreign and European Affairs Ministry with coordinating activities within the Three Seas Initiative. He added that Croatia has joined its investment fund in the amount of 20 million Euros.
The initiative's member states are Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia, which represent 29 percent of the EU's territory, 25 percent of its inhabitants, and accounts for roughly 19 percent of its GDP.
At home, President Zoran Milanović, who opted to not attend the summit, criticized the prime minister for doing so, an reiterated his opposition to Croatia's membership of the initiative: “This was an initiative of the Obama administration, not Trump's, to force these countries to increase their consumption of natural gas, and to isolate Russia. I personally won't participate in this effort to isolate Russia in this way, because I think it is stupid, and harmful for Croatia. We can see how this is reflected in current relations between the United States and Germany, in which Germany is practically being bullied to abandon the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. This is not something Croatia needs to get involved in. What is the Threes Seas Initiative offering us? That we have to buy American gas, sure, why not, and Qatari gas, but also Russian gas and Croatian gas.”
The initiative, which is influenced by the Polish interwar Intermarium concept, was launched in 2015 by Polish President Andrzej Duda and then Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović. It held its first summit in Dubrovnik in August of 2016, at which member states adopted a declaration of co-operation in economic matters, particularly in the field of energy, transport and communication infrastructure.
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