TALLINN - Estonian President Alar Karis discussed with Polish President Andrzej Duda and Latvian President Egils Levits how the war in Europe has clearly highlighted the need for energy and transport connections, especially in terms of security, both for the countries of the Three Seas region and for Europe as a whole at a panel discussion of the presidents of the Three Seas Initiative held in the framework of the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday.
"Ensuring energy security, as well as, for example, disruptions in the supply of cereals, are examples of what we should address when creating infrastructure," Karis said.
It was said during the discussion that the summit to be held in Riga in a few weeks' time will enable, in the light of the changed security situation, to give a new impetus to cooperation between the countries of the Adriatic, Baltic and Black seas to focus on infrastructure projects. New connections need to be established on the basis of Europe's changed security situation and the need to help Ukraine. This also requires private sector investment and foreign partners, state budget contributions alone are not enough.
It is in the common interest of the 12 countries participating in the Three Seas Initiative to attract credible new investment to develop and build transport, energy, digital connections and infrastructure on Europe's eastern north-south axis. "While Europe is rather well connected from west to east, connections from north to south are almost non-existent in eastern Europe. Our region has enormous economic potential to be a global hub for innovation and smart solutions," Karis said.
One third of the countries of the Three Seas Initiative border Ukraine directly. "We should use every means possible to help Ukraine rebuild its country after the war," the Estonian head of state said.
The Three Seas Initiative (3SI) is a regional cooperation format that brings together 12 EU member states between the Adriatic Sea, Baltic Sea and the Black Sea -- Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, Croatia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Hungary.
On Tuesday evening, the Estonian head of state took part in a discussion at the World Economic Forum with the world's top politicians, opinion and business leaders on the global role of Europe in the changed security situation in the world after Russia's aggression. Karis also met with the President of Armenia Vahagn Khachaturyan and the Prime Minister of Montenegro Dritan Abazovic.