U.S. Congress to Support Three Seas Initiative

by Julia Benbenek

How would the bipartisan resolution introduced by Representatives Kaptur and Kinzinger affect the 3SI?

On October 31, 2019, Representatives Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) along with thirteen cosponsors introduced a bipartisan resolution in support of the Three Seas Initiative (3SI). The 3SI is a strategic partnership between 12 Central and Eastern European nations that aims to facilitate interconnectivity on energy, infrastructure, and digitalization projects along the east-west axis. Polish President Andrzej Duda states that the project is, “a new concept to promote Europe’s unity and cohesion, it is an idea of cooperation among 12 countries located between the Adriatic, Baltic and Black Seas, the three seas of Central Europe.”

If enacted, H. Res. 672 would stipulate that the U.S. House of Representatives supports the 3SI, specifically in the energy sector. Reliance on Russian energy resources has been a particular concern for Washington. Congresswoman Kaptur remarks, “For years, Russia has undermined security in Europe by coercing European nations into reliance on Russia for their energy needs, including through the Nord Stream II and Turk Stream pipelines.” Similarly, Congressman Kinzinger states, “Russia has long used energy as a weapon to coerce and manipulate our European allies. As American energy production continues to rise, we have an opportunity to support our allies in Central and Eastern Europe with an alternative.”

The 3SI seeks to strengthen energy independence in East and Central Europe by reducing dependence on Kremlin energy imports. Therefore, the resolution proposed by Representatives Kaptur and Kinziger is critical legislation for affirming U.S. commitment to energy infrastructure projects in the region. Moreover, passing the bill would bolster the transatlantic relationship between the U.S., Poland, and other Eastern bloc countries.

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