German participation in the Three Seas Initiative: opportunities for Russia // Baltic Region. 2022. Vol. 14, Issue 2. P. 83-97. DOI 10.5922/2079-8555-2022-2-6.
The Three Seas Initiative was launched in 2016 by the Polish and Croatian leaders to bridge the gap between Southeast, Central and Eastern Europe, on the one hand, and Western Europe, on the other. This article aims to show how German policy on the Three Seas Initiative has changed and what risks and opportunities it represents for Russia. The official data on the Three Seas Initiative was used to explore the specifics of the concept and the impact of its most promising projects on the Southeast, Central and Eastern European markets. The analysis of materials from German think tanks and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was used to demonstrate the changes in Germany’s attitude towards the Initiative. Although the participating countries have not received sufficient funding to fulfil all the ambitious goals of the Three Seas Initiative, some of its most promising projects could still diminish Russian role in the EU energy market. Since 2018, the Federal Republic of Germany has increased its participation in the Initiative, yet Berlin’s growing focus on the concept should not be perceived critically since German participation could mitigate anti-Russian sentiment underlying the Three Seas Initiative. Moreover, ideas voiced by the members of the German Free Democratic Party, namely those concerning a joint hydrogen project with Russia to be run as a part of the Three Seas Initiative, deserve special attention.
The article was prepared within the project “Post-crisis world order: challenges and technologies, competition and cooperation” supported by the grant from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation program for research projects in priority areas of scientific and technological development (Agreement No 075-15-2020-783).
Keywords: Three Seas Initiative | Central and Eastern Europe | Poland | Germany | Russia | natural gas | hydrogen |
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