Three Seas initiative grants partnership status to Ukraine
The Three Seas Initiative, a Polish-Croatian project to develop enhanced transport and energy infrastructure in the region, has offered a partnership to Ukraine, Poland's President Andrzej Duda has announced.
The Three Seas Initiative is formed jointly by the 12 countries lying between the Baltic, Black and Adriatic seas. It groups the member states of the European Union but also has strategic partners, including the USA, Great Britain and the European Commission.
"We have decided to create a special, new type of partnership with the Three Seas Initiative, apart from the strategic partnership, a participatory partnership... we have awarded it to Ukraine, Duda said at 7th Three Seas Summit in Riga, Latvia, on Monday.
He added that he had earlier discussed the issue of Ukraine joining the Three Seas Initiative with the country's president, Volodymyr Zelensky.
The Polish president said that the new kind of partnership "is not only reserved for Ukraine."
Other countries of Central Europe, "which are not members of the European Union, but aspire to it," will be able to apply for such partnership status with the Three Seas Initiative, he added.
Duda vowed that if Ukraine wanted to create a leg of the Via Carpatia road route connecting northern and southern Europe or develop modern railways between countries, the Three Seas countries would cooperate in implementing such projects.
Polish president also said that all the Three Seas countries support granting Ukraine official EU candidate status. "I hope this week the European Council will make a decision on this matter," he added.