US to put up to $1 billion towards Three Seas Investment Fund
At the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed the United States' commitment to the Three Seas Initiative, which Estonia is a member of, and its readiness to allocate up to $1 billion for the financing of infrastructure projects.
Estonia will host the summit and a business forum of the Three Seas Initiative in June this year.
Speaking at the roundtable of the Three Seas Initiative at the Munich Security Conference President Kersti Kaljulaid said the U.S.'s funding commitment demonstrates the country's strong belief in the economy of the region.
As the organizer of the summit, Estonia has set the goal of achieving practical results between the 12 members of the Three Seas Initiative and the United States as the strategic partner.
Kaljulaid pointed out that the countries of the Three Seas makeup one-third of the territory of the European Union and have a total population of 105 million, but their GDP is less than one-fifth of that of the European Union.
"Therefore, it is important to find opportunities to bring more investments in infrastructure, energy and digital sectors of these countries, and thus develop cooperation between European countries," she said.
Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said the announcement demonstrates the Trump administration's commitment to strategic cooperation with the region.
"This decision was born in close collaboration with representatives of Estonia and demonstrates our effective work in preparing the summit of the Three Seas Initiative," he said.
On the sidelines of the Conference, the foreign minister met with the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations to discuss bilateral cooperation in resolving the issues standing before the UN Security Council.
The Three Seas Initiative brings together 12 European Union member states between the Adriatic Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea: Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, Croatia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Hungary. The United States and Germany act as partner countries.
It aims to improve dialogue and economic cooperation between EU countries on the north-south axis, primarily to develop the energy, transport and digital infrastructures of the region.
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Editor: Helen Wright