Written by Alessandra De Martini
The Black Sea is a strategic trade and transportation artery which connects Europe and Asia (NSC, 2022). The countries surrounding the coasts of the Black Sea are EU and NATO members (Romania and Bulgaria), former members of the Soviet Union (Russia, Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia) and Middle Eastern powers (Turkey).
After the Cold War, the lack of agreement between Russia and the West on the power-sharing in the region and the disintegration of the Soviet Union caused a series of conflicts, which are still ongoing.
Recently, Russia and Ukraine have built up their military power in the region, and NATO has stationed additional forces in Romania to enhance the Alliance’s defence strategy (Miller, 2017). The Black Sea is, therefore more militarised and less stable than at any point since the end of the Cold War. Tensions and instability in this key region can seriously affect global commercial trade and maritime activities.