President of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović has invited Russia to join the Three Seas Initiative, which according to her supposes implementation of more than 150 projects worth EUR 45 Billion, sources said.
“Globally, Croatia is not a big country in terms of its population and territory. But it is great judging by its opportunities and ambitions, so it takes active steps to find its place, especially within frameworks of its Central European and Mediterranean vectors. In order to complete consolidation of the territory, we proposed the Three Seas Initiative that opens opportunities for investments especially in the energy and transport sector, in developing new industries and new markets,” Grabar-Kitarović announced at an inauguration ceremony of the Russia-Croatia Economic Forum on October 19 in Moscow.
The Croatian president underscored that the initiative is aimed at lessening the gap between the Old and the New Europe.
Grabar-Kitarović noted that the initiative welcomes partners from third countries. “We can see the interest from the US and China, and if our Russian partners find their own interest in it, they are welcome,” she said.
Moreover, the source pointed out that it is worth mentioning that the Three Seas Initiative was signed in August 2016, in Dubrovnik as a result of a two-day forum. The forum hosted delegates from 12 EU countries of the Adriatic, Baltic, and Black seas triangle. They were accompanied by Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Turkey, and countries that are rather far from the region, the US and China. Meanwhile, Russia was not invited. As Grabar-Kitarović said then, the initiative was “a key element of the Croatian foreign policy” aimed at decreasing dependence on the Russian gas.
Putin welcomed on Wednesday the Croatian President in Sochi, on October 18, 2017.
“I am very pleased to welcome you in Russia, and I am pleased to talk about bilateral relations, as well as regional issues. Welcome,” said Putin at the beginning of the two sides’ meeting at the state residency.