Categorie
Black Sea Bulgaria

Bulgaria’s Black Sea Dilemma: NATO Ally or Russian Gateway? (Valeri R. Ratchev, Todor Tagarev, The Jamestown Foundation)

The Black Sea is the region most severely affected by the tensions between the Russian Federation and the Transatlantic alliance. An arc of conflicts, extending from Moldova through Ukraine to the South Caucasus and Central Asia, serves the Kremlin’s strategy of geopolitical control. Russia’s sharp aggression against Georgia and Ukraine turned the Black Sea from an area of potent cooperation into a potential battleground. For the littoral states, coping with the Russian military threat and its hybrid influence is an existential priority.

However, Bulgaria seems distanced and keeps a low profile in that Black Sea contest. Despite witnessing over a decade of growing tensions and Russia’s ongoing military buildup, Sofia has never recognized the Black Sea as a region with a unique identity and important security dimensions. As such, no Bulgarian government to date has developed a specific policy toward this region nor seen the need to play an active role, as a full-fledged European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member, in drafting and implementing a common strategy for the Black Sea. Bulgaria’s regional interests and policy are, instead, primarily limited to energy, tourism and trade, preventing mass refugee flows, and averting domestic religious radicalization; Sofia views every regional security problem strictly through those lenses.

Bulgaria’s Black Sea Dilemma: NATO Ally or Russian Gateway? – Jamestown

Categorie
Black Sea Danube River Romania

Guardian of the Danube: Romania’s Mixed Progress in Implementing a Black Sea Strategy (George Vișan, The Jamestown Foundation)

Romania’s maritime environment consists of the Danube River and the Black Sea. The river links the country to the sea providing an important trade connection with the rest of the continent as well as a natural frontier. Moreover, the Danube is crucial for Romania as it is one of the country’s most important sources of energy. Romania’s main interests in the Black Sea are ensuring peace and stability, freedom of navigation and energy security along with exploitation of the natural resources found in its exclusive economic zone.

Guardian of the Danube: Romania’s Mixed Progress in Implementing a Black Sea Strategy – Jamestown

Categorie
Black Sea NATO

NATO aircraft intensify flights near Russian Black Sea borders over 24 hours — top brass (TASS)

NATO reconnaissance aircraft increased the number of flights near the Russian borders in the Black Sea region over the past 24 hours, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Wednesday.

“Over the past 24 hours, reconnaissance aircraft of NATO countries increased the intensity of flights near the borders of the Russian Federation in the Black Sea region,” the ministry said.

NATO aircraft intensify flights near Russian Black Sea borders over 24 hours — top brass – Military & Defense – TASS

Categorie
Black Sea Romania USA

Romanian official pitched Blinken on Black Sea troop boost (Joe Gould, Defense News)

Romania’s foreign minister said Tuesday he asked U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in person to consider boosting the U.S. troop presence on the Black Sea to address flaring tensions with Russia.

“We have discussed about the importance of increasing the U.S. presence in the region and in Romania,” H.E. Bogdan Aurescu said at an Atlantic Council event a day after the meeting ― which also focused on economic and energy cooperation in the region.

Romanian official pitched Blinken on Black Sea troop boost (defensenews.com)

Categorie
Black Sea

Russian Navy forces hunt down enemy sub in drills as NATO warships enter Black Sea (TASS)

The crews of the Black Sea Fleet’s small anti-submarine warfare ships practiced hunting down and eliminating a notional enemy submarine during drills in the Black Sea, the Fleet’s press office reported on Monday.

Russian Navy forces hunt down enemy sub in drills as NATO warships enter Black Sea – Military & Defense – TASS

Categorie
Black Sea

NATO drills in Black Sea prompted by US desire to deter Russia, says top diplomat (TASS)

The NATO drills in the Black Sea are related to the desire of the United States and its allies to build up its policy of deterring Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.

NATO drills in Black Sea prompted by US desire to deter Russia, says top diplomat – Military & Defense – TASS

Categorie
Black Sea NATO Russia USA

Russian Defense Minister Calls ‘Constant’ U.S. Presence In Black Sea A Provocation (RFE RL)

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu called the constant presence of the U.S. Navy in the Black Sea a provocation after another ship entered the strategic waters.

“This is an almost constant attempt to test us, to check how ready we are, how much we have built the entire [defense] system off the Black Sea coast,” Shoigu told state TV on November 7.

Russian Defense Minister Calls ‘Constant’ U.S. Presence In Black Sea A Provocation (rferl.org)

Categorie
Black Sea Russia USA

Russian Navy thwarts ‘missile strike’ on Sevastopol as US warships enter Black Sea (TASS)

The air defense team of the Black Sea Fleet’s frigate Admiral Essen held drills to protect a naval base from a notional enemy missile strike, the Fleet’s press ofice reported on Sunday.

Currently, two US warships are operating in the Black Sea: the flagship, command ship Mount Whitney and the guided missile destroyer Porter. The Russian Black Sea Fleet’s forces and capabilities are keeping a close eye on the US warships in the Black Sea. The US 6th Fleet earlier announced that the warships had deployed to the Black Sea for joint operations with NATO allies and partners in the region.

Russian Navy thwarts ‘missile strike’ on Sevastopol as US warships enter Black Sea – Military & Defense – TASS

Categorie
Black Sea NATO Russia USA

Foreign warships in Black Sea testing strength of Russian borders, says defense chief (TASS)

US and NATO guided missile ships that enter the Black Sea are attempting to test the strength of Russia’s Black Sea coast and southern border protection, Russian Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu said on Sunday.

Foreign warships in Black Sea testing strength of Russian borders, says defense chief – Military & Defense – TASS

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