The Three Seas summit in Bucharest is under the slogan of strengthening European and transatlantic cooperation. The President of Poland will took the fruits of talks to Washington, where he talkede with Donald Trump. The themes included energy and the contested Nord Stream 2 project – says Wojciech Jakóbik, editor-in-chief of BiznesAlert.pl.
Three Seas pro-UE and pro-NATO
– We are here today, because we are a part of the EU and NATO (…) Therefore, I can not imagine that the Three Seas could operate outside these borders, and even more so against these organizations and their values - said the President in Bucharest. During the summit, a declaration was signed to establish a Business Forum, which is to animate the cooperation of EU countries entrepreneurs between the Adriatic, Baltic and Black Seas. The message should be positively evaluated. It would be a black scenario to present the Three Seas as an alternative to European and transatlantic integration.
A letter of intent was signed to set up the Three Seas fund, which would provide EUR 5 billion a year for regional projects selected by presidents of countries taking part in the initiative. The president stressed that the Three Seas members would succeed in strengthening the process of modernization of Central Europe. – We will do it in a bottom-up, point-based way, focusing on the subsequent stages of construction of individual investments – he said. The president’s team wants to establish business ties at the lowest level in the hope that in the undefined past they will have an effect in closer political ties between the Three Seas countries.
The Chancellery of the President informs that Poland, like other countries in the region, needs infrastructure investments. The constructed Three Seas platform is to help in their implementation – this format is a kind of presidential umbrella and an incentive for further action, both between the governments of individual countries and entrepreneurs.
The speech of the president of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen, who spoke at the Bucharest summit on diversifying the sources of gas supplies to Europe and presented Nord Stream 2, in which OMV is financially involved, spoke of the fact that the Three Seas bonds are fragile at the moment.
LNG from the USA for Poland
The president left the summit of the Three Seas to go to Washington through Warsaw, where in the evening of Polish time he would talk with the President of the United States. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki will be in Bucharest. The topic of talks is to be energy cooperation, and therefore, among others, LNG supplies from the USA to Poland. Presidents will probably not interfere in talks about LNG between PGNiG and suppliers from North America.
Sanctions against Nord Stream 2
The topic is the threat of US sanctions against the contested Nord Stream 2 project, which is criticized by Americans and Poles. In an interview with Kommersant quoted by BiznesAlert.pl, US energy secretary Rick Perry, who was present at the Three Seas meeting, linked the possibility of introducing sanctions on whether Russia will continue to supply gas through Ukraine.
This topic is not yet resolved. It was the subject of debates of the European Commission-Ukraine-Russia, in which representatives of Gazprom were absent. This may mean that the US side will not introduce sanctions against Nord Stream 2 to be resolved in Ukraine. Before the summit, I wrote that this is unlikely. However, one can expect another signal from the side of the well-known language of the President of the United States at the meeting with Andrzej Duda. On the one hand, this is a signal that may disappoint Polish diplomacy for months seeking US involvement, on the other it is a positive signal from the point of view of the common transatlantic policy. The Americans are adapting to the line adopted by the European Commission, which counts on the system stabilizing the situation in Ukraine. It remains to be decided whether talks with Russia can lead to obtaining reliable guarantees at all. After the annexation of Crimea, it will be difficult to trust the promises of the diplomacy there.
Poland is waiting for a signal from the US
Considering the limited character of the presidential Three Seas initiative, its fruits should be positively evaluated. Collecting money together is a good introduction to the further integration of the countries in the region. The patronage of the US and the European Union is a guarantee that it will not be intercepted by forces wanting to break up Europe. There was still no breakthrough signal from the USA, which announced the President’s Chancellery before the visit of Duda in Washington. Perhaps the Polish time will appear tonight. Americans could promise financial support for the Three Seas fund – which is likely – or sanctions against Nord Stream 2 – which is less likely.