U.S. President Donald Trump emphasized the importance of energy independence for the Three Seas nations in order to “remain sovereign, secure, and free from foreign coercion” as he spoke to the leaders of the 12 nations situated between the Baltic, Black, and Adriatic Seas at a summit in Warsaw, Poland on Thursday.
Trump’s message came at a time when Eastern and Central European country leaders, including Polish President Andrzej Duda and Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, have seen Russia halt gas exports during price disputes and winter months, as Reuters reports.
During the Thursday meeting, Trump highlighted the objectives of the Three Seas Initiative summit:
We’re here at this historic gathering to launch a new future for open, fair, and affordable energy markets that bring greater security and prosperity to all of our citizens. We are sitting on massive energy and we are now exporters of energy. So, if one of you need energy, just give us a call.
Trump assured the Three Seas nations that the U.S. stands with them.
“We support your drive for greater prosperity and security. We applaud your initiative to expand infrastructure. We welcome this historic opportunity to deepen our economic partnership with your region,” said Trump.
The U.S. President spoke of 28 years earlier, when the “brave citizens” of these nations “lifted the Iron Curtain and defeated communism”, and how “much of the infrastructure within Central and Eastern Europe has remained a relic of the old Soviet era.” He went on to refer to “old roads, railways, and pipelines that still operate on restrictive systems.”
Trump expressed support for the “creation of the Three Seas Business Forum,” promoting it as a catalyst to “build cutting-edge projects with the best talent in the energy industry, and do so under budget and ahead of schedule.”
He lauded projects “that open us up to greater access, and you’ll be totally open and have access to energy markets and remove barriers to energy trade, such as floating LNG [liquified natural gas] terminal on the Croatian island of Krk.” He then noted the importance of these projects: “These projects and many others are crucial to ensuring that your nations continue to diversify your energy sources, suppliers, and routes.”
“I also applaud Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and Austria for pursuing a pipeline from the Black Sea,” said Trump who also mentioned U.S. pipeline projects.
President Trump brought up the first shipment of LNG from the U.S. to Poland last month, “And you made a very good deal, I understand.”
“Let me be very clear about one crucial point: The United States will never use energy to coerce your nations, and we cannot allow others to do so,” said Trump. “You don’t want to have a monopoly or a monopolistic situation. The United States is firmly committed to open, fair, and competitive markets for global energy trade.”
Trump also mentioned that the U.S. offers the “best technology for fighter jets and ships and equipment, military weapons” in hopes that the Three Seas nations would look to the U.S. when they purchase military equipment.
Wrapping up his comments, Trump declared, “The Three Seas Initiative will not only empower your people to prosper, but it will ensure that your nations remain sovereign, secure, and free from foreign coercion.”
Trump went on to deliver a speech to the Polish people at the country’s historic Krasinski Square where he emphasized the history of the Warsaw uprising, lauding Poland and the importance of defending western civilization, borders, and faith.
President Trump went on from Poland to the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany that will take place over the next two days.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana