Speaking immediately after a video address by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Blinken stressed the growing importance of the Three Seas Initiative in developing regional infrastructure in transport, energy and the digital spheres.
Putin's "war of choice" against Ukraine made the role of the 3SI "even more important", Blinken said, adding that the U.S. will commit to "major new financiing for the 3 Seas Investment Fund".
However, he did not name a figure, saying that the details would be announced by U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) Chief Executive Officer Scott Nathan who is attending the Rīga meeting in person. The DFC is the United States’ development finance institution and has an investment portfolio of more than $37 billion committed globally
That did indeed happen, with a figure of 300 million dollars stated.
“We’d like to announce a $300M commitment to the Three Seas Investment Fund – a signal of our support for the region,” Scott A. Nathan, Chief Executive Officer of the @DFCgov pic.twitter.com/zDk2InR9uN— Three Seas Summit and Business Forum (@3seaseu) June 20, 2022
At a press conference Latvian President Egils Levits welcomed news of the U.S. investment and said that while the 3SI was a European Union body, it would be aiming for "close cooperation" with Ukraine given the expected positive commitment to Ukraine's EU membership path.
"All of us support granting candidate status to Ukraine," said Polish President Andrzej Duda of the European Commission's forthcoming verdict.
Duda added that within the 3SI, Ukraine was being granted "participating partner" status, which is a new category different from the existing "strategic partner" status held by countries such as the United States and Germany. This might help Ukraine develop things such as high-speed rail links to the rest of Europe, he said.
The press conference also confirmed that next year's 3SI event will take place in Romania.
The Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund is a dedicated commercial fund targeting critical infrastructure investment in the region. The fund is advised by Amber Infrastructure Group, an independent international investment manager.
In the wake of the announcement of the U.S. investment, the DFC released more details.
"U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and the Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund S.A. SICAV-RAIF (‘3SIIF’, ‘the Fund’) have agreed to a term sheet that will form the basis of an agreement under which DFC will provide up to $300 million of financing to the Fund. DFC financing will support energy and infrastructure investments that enhance energy security, facilitate energy diversification, and improve connectivity in the Three Seas region," the DFC said.
Investment from DFC would bring the 3SIIF’s capital commitment to approximately €1.3 billion.
The Fund and DFC expect the financing to be finalized "during 2022".
“DFC is committed to investing in the Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund. This will promote energy security and counter Russian aggression in Europe,” said DFC CEO Scott Nathan.
June 20 also saw the member countries releasing a joint statement giving their conclusions about the event, even though there is still another day to go. You can read the text here. It is also attached to this story in PDF format.