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Polish President: Three Seas will protect against Russian energy ‘blackmail’

Poland’s president said cooperation between the 12 countries lying between the Baltic, Black, and Adriatic Seas that form the Three Seas Initiative will help protect Central and Eastern Europe from Russian energy blackmail.

The Three Seas Initiative is a Polish-Croatian project to develop enhanced transport and energy infrastructure in the region.

In a letter to participants in the Local Government Economic Congress and the II Three Seas Initiative Forum of Regions in the Polish city of Lublin on Monday, President Andrzej Duda wrote: “Today the main theme of the Three Seas is energy security, building energy independence, at the same time limiting the possibility of blackmail by Russia.”

Duda went on to write that “effectively securing industrial infrastructure and the strengthening of mutual transport connections between the Three Seas countries is a guarantee of security and prosperity in our part of Europe,” adding that due to its diversification of energy sources, Poland is in a position to cope with the Kremlin cutting off natural gas deliveries.

The president went on to express pleasure that Poland’s southern neighbours were interested in additional transit capacity to cater to their energy needs, which he described as “a beautiful manifestation of the Three Seas concept.

“The opening of gas interconnectors between Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia, and soon also Slovakia, are of similar importance,” Duda wrote.

He also argued that the Three Seas Initiative could “play an important role in the post-war rebuilding of Ukraine and facilitating the country’s connection to European energy and transport systems.” He pointed out that before Russia’s invasion, Ukraine had taken part in Three Seas infrastructure projects including the flagship Via Carpathia north-south road project.

He said the current geopolitical situation added significance to “the project of diversifying natural gas deliveries, headed by building a new corridor between Poland and Ukraine.

“Creating stable energy, road and rail connections, resistant to crises, between the Three Seas (countries) and Ukraine will be a priority in the near future,” Duda wrote.

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