The Three Seas Initiative is a Central European launched and led undertaking. The United States Government not only supports it diplomatically — you may recall President Trump’s robust endorsement at the TSI Summit Warsaw hosted in July 2017 — but has also committed to invest up to $1B into the Initiative, including the Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund – says Ian Brzeziński (Atlantic Council) in an interview for BiznesAlert.pl.
BiznesAlert.pl: How is Three Seas Initiative compatible/incompatible with U.S. foreign policy?
Ian Brzeziński: The Three Seas Initiative is all about fulfilling the vision of a Europe that is free, undivided, prosperous and secure. By accelerating the development of cross-border energy, transport and digital infrastructure, the initiative will further the development of an integrated European economy and a single European market.
Infrastructural connectivity is a driver of economic growth and a critical means to strengthen economic resilience – including energy security through the diversification of energy supplies.
Better roads, rail roads, telecommunication links and energy connectors, especially in North-South directions, can also enhance military security by enabling the efficient and expeditious movement of Allied military forces through the nations that define NATO’s eastern frontier.
The Three Seas Initiative will enhance economic growth in Central and Eastern Europe, and enable not just that region but of all Europe to be more prosperous, economically resilient and secure. From a US perspective that is an Europe that is better able to cooperate in addressing shared opportunities and challenges.
The official line on TSI is that it is only economic enterprise. How Americans can involve in it?
The Three Seas Initiative is a Central European launched and led undertaking. The United States Government not only supports it diplomatically — you may recall President Trump’s robust endorsement at the TSI Summit Warsaw hosted in July 2017 — but has also committed to invest up to $1B into the Initiative, including the Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund.
I am confident that as the Fund reaches a critical mass, it will attract to itself and to Central European infrastructure projects investments from US commercial capital. I also hope that TSI will attract investments from development banks and commercial funds from around the world, including, of course, those in Western Europe, a region that will directly benefit from Central European prosperity.
What are the prospects of developing LNG links inside TSI, what are the prospects of Ukraine which is not a member?
The development of gas infrastructure links that enable 3SI member states to access a broader diversity of energy suppliers is a clear focus of the Three Seas Initiative. This includes both LNG terminals and gas pipelines. Much progress has been made in Central Europe in this realm, but more is needed and Three Seas can help significantly drive this priority forward.
Regarding Ukraine and Moldova and countries in the Western Balkans that are not formal members of the Three Seas Initiative, it is my personal view that it is important to include them in the Three Seas vision. Indeed, the vision of an undivided and integrated Europe will never be fulfilled without them. The good news is that The Three Seas Initiative can and should include cross border projects involving these countries. But I agree more can be done to make clear that these European countries are an important element of the Three Seas vision.
Interview by Wojciech Jakóbik