The Three Seas Initiative is unnecessary and potentially harmful for Croatia due to possibly running afoul of Berlin and Moscow, President Zoran Milanovic said on Monday, adding that he was against Croatia giving "even one cent" for the Initiative.
The Initiative is holding an online summit today, formally hosted by Estonia, with Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic participating instead of Milanovic.
The Initiative’s summits are usually attended by the presidents of the member states, but Milanovic believes the Initiative “is unnecessary for Croatia, potentially harmful too.”
“I’m against Croatia giving even one cent for this Initiative if we don’t see clearly how, what and when,” he told the press in Cakovec.
He said that on the other hand, “everything is clear” with European funds, adding that only once in its history Croatia would have €30 billion at its disposal between 2020 and 2030, which he said could radically change a country with a population of four million.
That is not the case with the Three Seas Initiative, Milanovic said. “Not one euro has been paid into it in two years and now I hear that Croatia will pay €20 million into some joint fund. That’s a lot of money.”
“I think all this didn’t cost that much,” he said about the Knowledge Centre he was visiting today. “If from these Three Seas Initiative funds, which don’t exist, we get money for carpentry for this complex, I’ll be surprised… We won’t get anything because there isn’t anything.”
Milanovic said Three Seas was an Obama administration initiative intended to force countries to participate more in the purchase of US liquefied gas and isolate Russia.
“I won’t take part in isolating Russia like that. I find it stupid and harmful for Croatia. We can see how this is affecting the relations between the US, the current administration, and Germany. Germany is practically being mobbed into scrapping the Nord Stream 2 project.”
“It’s not a match in which Croatia should participate and run afoul of both Berlin and Moscow,” the president said.