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Tag: Black Sea

The Black Sea region. A complex and dynamic space

Countries in the Black Sea region remain hostage to geopolitics and history. The impact of various factors on the shape of relations on this area is still very noticeable. Thus, any examination of the geopolitical situation here that does not account for historical conditions may diminish the complexity of the situation on the ground.

The geopolitical rivalry and the clash of interests between the superpowers have been present in the Black Sea region for centuries. During the Cold War when the East-West divide was at its height, the Black Sea was “excluded” from geopolitical competition between the superpowers as it became the domain of mainly one player – the Soviet Union.

August 26, 2019 - Tomasz Stępniewski

Security takes centre stage in the Black Sea

The annexation and militarisation of the Crimean Peninsula has given Russia greater access to use enhanced military capabilities to project its forces in the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East and apply pressure on the other countries in the region, particularly Ukraine and Georgia. In response, NATO and the Euro-Atlantic community have started developing a new approach to Black Sea security.

The Black Sea region over the centuries has been the subject of interest of empires and powerful states. The region, as a security space, has a complicated history. It combines a central maritime space with limited access and coastal areas that link it to the regional security complexes of Europe, Eurasia and the Middle East – and that often intersect and overlap.

August 26, 2019 - Zurab Agladze

The shift of dominance in the Black Sea

Turkey’s policy in the Black Sea, which mainly aims to deter NATO’s presence in the region, has diminished its overall role, making it more vulnerable to Russia’s growing influence. Russian’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 was a clear signal that the Black Sea is gradually becoming a Russian lake, upsetting the equilibrium that has been in place for nearly a century.

Despite centuries of political and military conflicts and other power dynamics around the Black Sea, there has never been a period in history when a common conception of the Black Sea region existed – not even among the littoral states. Accordingly, the Black Sea region has gradually evolved into a unit of analysis, a sort of framework under which certain power dynamics are analysed by different scholars and policy-makers.

August 26, 2019 - Sophia Petriashvili

A sea of insecurity

The Black Sea has always been an important geopolitical theatre. The November 2018 Russian attack on Ukraine’s naval convoy illustrates the Kremlin’s desire to assert dominance in the region and causing greater insecurity and uncertainty for those pro-western states that are situated along the sea coast.

The Black Sea, though serving as an extension of the wider Mediterranean space, has always been strategically important in global politics. The level of interest global powers have expressed in the region has varied from time to time, but the sea has its own merits as a space where historical steppe lands from the north, the isolated South Caucasus, the wider Middle East and the Mediterranean met each other.

August 26, 2019 - Emil Avdaliani

A playground for influence

The Black Sea region is once again becoming an arena attracting large powers to invest and develop. However, the growing interest among the various powers also leads to a higher risk of conflict and confrontation, something that this region is already known for, historically.

Hellenes referred to the Black Sea as Póntos Áxeinos which derives from the ancient Persian word axšaina used to describe objects of dark colour. The Black Sea region has, historically speaking, been an arena of confrontation between different nations. It has witnessed the glorious rise of empires as well as their crushing defeats. During the heyday of the Ottoman Empire, the Black Sea was referred to as an “Ottoman Lake”. European states have also been historically involved in the disputes over the region.

August 26, 2019 - Leo Sikharulidze

Anaklia’s deep sea port – a new strategic pivot in Eurasia

The construction of a deep water port in Anaklia on the Georgian Black Sea coast could be a game changer in the region. Through Anaklia both the EU and the US would be able to reach landlocked Central Asian countries.

June 12, 2019 - Beka Kiria

China takes it all in the Black Sea region

China is becoming a major player in the Black Sea, to the advantage of the countries of the post-Soviet space and under the sometimes concerned eyes of Russia and the European Union member states.

February 19, 2019 - Michael Eric Lambert

Ukraine’s Black Sea coast: the next geopolitical flashpoint?

The Kerch Strait incident in November 2018 indicates that the geographic focal point of the Russian-Ukrainian military conflict may be currently shifting from the Donets Basin to the Black and Azov Seas. Four factors in particular make further tensions between Moscow and Kyiv, along the shores of the Crimean peninsula and Ukraine’s southeastern mainland coastline probable.

February 15, 2019 - Andreas Umland

Maritime security in Ukraine in the aftermath of Russian aggression

As Ukraine's access to its southern seas is becoming increasingly difficult, it is looking for ways to restore the operations and potential of its most beleaguered sea ports.

April 24, 2018 - Yuriy Husyev

Bulgaria goes to the Warsaw Summit with the Black Sea in mind

The 2016 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit will begin in Warsaw on July 8th. The meeting of NATO heads of state is expected to address issues which are seen as essential for Central and Eastern Europe’s security environment in view of Russia’s perceived aggressive posture in the region. Some of those issues will include eastward force deployment in CEE and the Baltics, propping up the anti-missile shield and the potential for the Alliance’s enlargement.

July 8, 2016 - Kamen Kraev

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