22:02 / 06.09.2023.

Author: Katja Miličić

Three Seas Initiative leaders meet in Bucharest

Prime Minister Plenković at the Three Seas Initiative summit in Bucharest

Prime Minister Plenković at the Three Seas Initiative summit in Bucharest

Foto: HTV / HRT

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković is taking part in a summit of the Three Seas Initiative, where he again offered Croatia’s ports for the export of Ukrainian grain after the collapse of the Black Sea route.

The leaders of participating nations are meeting in Bucharest to discuss strengthening European energy independence and strategic projects that will improve energy connectivity between Europe's north and south. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the meeting via video link.

Prime Minister Plenković said Croatia was committed to the Initiative.

"I reaffirm Croatia's commitment to this Three Seas Initiative, both in the political sense, in project terms and it is echoed by the participation of a number of Croatian businessmen attending the economic forum tomorrow. This is logical because one third of our total trade is with the countries participating in the Three Seas initiative. That certainly signals how important our partners are for deepening our cooperation,” said Plenković.

All of the participants expressed their support for Ukraine, which, together with Moldova, is becoming a partner country of this initiative. Greece is set to become the 13th member of the Initiative at this summit as well.

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said that the summit had affirmed the long-term goals of the Three Seas Initiative.

"Today we reaffirmed the permanent and key goals of this initiative, which are to reduce the differences in development in the region covered by the Three Seas Initiative and the rest of the EU, to strengthen cohesion within the EU and to increase the region's contribution to strengthening trans-Atlantic ties,” Iohannis said.

The Romanian leader also underscored that the economic presence of the United States in the region was a “strategic catalyst” for strengthening its security.

Speaking at the summit, Plenković again offered Croatian ports as an alternative for the export of Ukrainian grain.

“Croatia sees itself as the Mediterranean gateway to Central Europe and that is why we have offered more opportunities in our ports, especially in our port of Rijeka,” the Prime Minister said.

He added that the Government is working on a railway connection between Rijeka on the Adriatic Sea and the port of Vukovar on the Danube River.

The agreement on the export of Ukrainian grain across the Black Sea is seen as key to addressing global food insecurity and curbing grain prices. Ukraine is also highly dependent on export earnings. But the Russia was not happy with the way the pact, officially known as the Black Sea Grain Initiative, was being implemented.

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