Hungary will host the 2025 Three Seas Initiative (3SI) Summit and Business Forum, President Katalin Novák announced in Bucharest on Wednesday. Speaking at the current summit of the body, she said that economic cooperation in the region is important even in the shadow of the war in Ukraine, and welcomed the joint declaration and its wording on Ukraine, reports Hirado.hu.
Katalin Novák mentioned that she had visited Kiev twice in the past year and stressed that Hungary stands by Ukraine’s territorial integrity, condemns Russian aggression, and considers the achievement of peace the most important goal.
She highlighted that the Three Seas Initiative was created to promote economic relations and effective connectivity in the wider region.
She welcomed Greece’s accession to the 3SI, but said it was equally important to reach out to the Western Balkan countries through the initiative.
A gradual opening towards the six Western Balkan countries would be favored, as the north-south connection does not end at our borders.
The president also drew attention to the importance of population growth for competitiveness and reminded the summit participants of the Budapest Demographic Summit, taking place on September 14-15 in Budapest.
FactThe Three Seas Initiative is a joint initiative of the 12 countries of the European Union Member ?States lying between the Adriatic, Baltic, and Black Seas to expand trade links in the region. The countries involved are Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia. The 3SI will be extended to include Greece, as agreed at the meeting.
After her speech, Novák held a bilateral meeting with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, who will host the Three Seas Initiative summit in 2024. Prior to that, President Novák met with Hunor Kelemen, President of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania.
The Three Seas Initiative Summit is currently being held in Bucharest, Romania, from September 6-7. Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said ahead of the meeting that he would like to put emphasis on the importance of the initiative a year and a half after the start of the war in Ukraine, stressing the need for strengthening regional and European resilience.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky joined the summit via video. He pointed out that Russia’s recent attacks on Ukraine’s Danube ports are “at the border of our three seas,” referring to a recent drone attack. The president also mentioned that Ukraine is strongly against any further restrictions on the export of their grain.
Featured photo via Twitter/Katalin Novák