The Three Seas Initiative includes 12 democratic countries, EU member states, located between the Baltic, Black, and Adriatic seas. It aims to promote new infrastructure investments, thus promoting north-south connectivity, economic growth, and energy security as a hedge against the malign influence of authoritarian regimes such as Russia and China.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently addressed the Three Seas Summit, urging member states to seize “opportunities in front of us to improve the lives of our people:”
(ACT : DALET:POLICY/ACTUALITIES) “We have an opportunity to jump-start growth and attract private sector investment now, while raising living standards for the long term. Also, we have an opportunity to link together our infrastructure and energy markets in ways that will generate economic security for generations to come.” (END ACT)
A well-funded, action-oriented Three Seas Initiative will help achieve these shared goals, said Secretary Pompeo. But even now, he warned, “the authoritarians in Moscow and Beijing are dangling infrastructure deals as a way to gain strategic and political leverage over free people. We’ve seen this with Nord Stream 2. We’ve seen the crushing effects of Chinese infrastructure deals around the world, from Laos to Montenegro, and to Pakistan.”
The United States does not want to see authoritarian powers again compromise the sovereignty or liberty of free nations. Indeed, the U.S. has demonstrated that resolve by announcing it would invest fund up to a billion dollars in Three Seas infrastructure projects.
Secretary Pompeo urged those Three Seas member states that have not yet invested in the Fund to do so now, and other member states to make additional investments.
The next step must be to leverage the private sector. To do that, said Secretary Pompeo, there must be a fair and level playing field. “It’s essential that national policies be as attractive as possible, not favor state-owned enterprises, or put politics in the way of their investment.”
Another concern is security. “The Chinese Communist Party is just waiting to vacuum up your data,” warned Secretary Pompeo. Unreliable vendors must be excluded from critical telecommunications, energy, and transportation networks.
Finally, it is critical that words become action, said Secretary Pompeo. “I urge you to move the first of [the transnational projects] from concept to shovel-ready stages very quickly.”
“As you move forward, you should know you will not be alone,” said Secretary Pompeo. “We stand with our European friends on the mighty bedrock of freedom and democracy, a foundation of friendship now and for the ages to come.”