International discussion gives special attention to Three Seas Initiative, strengthening of transport innovation ecosystem and Ukraine

Agnė Vaiciukevičiūtė, Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications, who took part in the international discussion of the Transport Innovation Forum that began on Thursday in Vilnius, stressed that the countries of the Three Seas Initiative, uniting the Baltic, Black and Adriatic Sea regions, were faced with common challenges, and called for strengthening regional cooperation not only to ensure the development of reliable North-South transport links and transport innovation, but also to contribute to the restoration of Ukraine's transport infrastructure.

The forum discussion "Three Seas Initiative: Strengthening the Transport Innovation Ecosystem in the Region" was also attended by Ģirts Dubkēvičs, Parliamentary Secretary of the Latvian Ministry of Transport, Christian Roy, Investment Director at Amber Infrastructure Group Limited, and Edvinas Kerza, Managing Partner of the investment fund ScaleWolf.

"Lithuania now holds the presidency of two important political and expert platforms for international connectivity, transport and transport innovation, in particular the Three Seas Initiative and the International Transport Forum which covers all modes of transport. Lithuania will make use of the synergies of both platforms, enhancing our ability to improve transport and logistics links in the Baltic Sea region and Central and Eastern Europe. Through our active participation in the two formats, we also aim at mobilising the international community for the development of the future transport system and the sustainable restoration of Ukraine's transport infrastructure," said Ms Vaiciukevičiūtė.

The participants in the discussion highlighted the geopolitical, military and hybrid threats posed by Russia, which further underlined the importance of the Three Seas Initiative based on the strategic North-South axis. Mr Dubkēvičs, representing the Latvian Ministry of Transport, emphasised the potential of the Three Seas Initiative in strengthening cooperation with strategic partners such as the United States, attracting international investment and assistance to Ukraine, and the need to accelerate the strategic transport projects Rail Baltica and Via Baltica.

Established in 2019, the Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund invests in energy, transport and digital infrastructure in the countries of the Three Seas Initiative. According to Mr. Roy, Investment Director of Amber Infrastructure Group Limited, it has an important role to play in overcoming the development differences of separate European Union (EU) regions and covering the funding gap for sustainable transport projects of the future.

The discussion stressed the intention to set up a dedicated innovation fund for the Three Seas Initiative. At the same time, ways are being sought to help Ukraine rebuild its war-torn transport infrastructure. Mr Kerza pointed out that the development of cooperation and innovation in transport was equally important for the ability to use infrastructure in a smart and secure way, protect it from cyberattacks and create a safe digital space.

The Three Seas Initiative currently brings together 13 EU states, including Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Greece, Slovakia and Slovenia. Ukraine and Moldova are partners of the initiative. 

The Three Seas Initiative Summit will take place in spring 2024 in Lithuania.