Andriy KLYMENKO, «Maidan of Foreign Affairs», BSNews, Kyiv-Yalta. The turbulent past 10 months have distracted BSNews from cruise monitoring which has still been among the most important ones for us and our subscribers for years. Based on our monitoring for September 2014 we are returning to this analysis under the new conditions, with Crimea annexed by Russia. September is the most telling month for Black Sea cruises.
On 25 June 1992,the Heads of State and Government of eleven countries: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine signed in Istanbul the Summit Declaration and the Bosphorus Statement giving birth to the Black Sea Economic Cooperation.
It came into existence as a unique and promising model of multilateral political and economic initiative aimed at fostering interaction among the Member States, as well as to ensure peace, stability and good-neighbourly relations in the Black Sea region.
Andriy KLYMENKO, Maidan of Foreign Affairs (Kyiv), BSNews Chief Editor. Uss Ross (DDG 71), the US Navy missile destroyer arrived at Constanta, Romania on September 5, 2014 in the course of patrolling the Black Sea. The vessel is heading to Odesa area on September 7, 2014 to participate in the Sea Breeze 2014 Ukrainian-US naval training.
Andriy KLYMENKO, Olha KORBUT, Maidan of Foreign Affairs, BSNews, Yalta-Kyiv. Maidan of Foreign Affairs and BSNews monitoring group publishes the blacklist of vessels (3rd edition) that entered Crimean seaports after Crimea was occupied and annexed by Russia. The list currently includes 91 vessels, with 38 Russian, 24 Turkish and 14 Greek vessels.
Andriy KLYMENKO, Head of Supervisory Board, Maidan of FA, BSNews Chief Editor, Yalta-Kyiv. It’s amazing: just three months ago, when the Kremlin signed a shocking act of annexation, for us in Crimea it seemed like it would remain that way for many, many years. Today, despite the increasingly brutal and unpredictable aggression of the Russian Federation in Donbas, it appears that it will happen much faster. Time is accelerated here now. A day is a month. And sometimes even more.
Head of the Ukrainian delegation in BSEC Parliamentary Assembly Olena Netetska: "Black Sea region needs new ideas on collaboration" 1
From BSNews editorial staff: On February 20, 2013 the People's Deputy of Ukraine from one of the Crimean districts Olena Netetska headed the delegation of our country to the BSEC Parliamentary Assembly, and at the 41st General Assembly of the BSEC Parliamentary Assembly in Sophia on July 9 – 11, 2013 she was elected as the Deputy Chairman of the BSEC Parliamentary Assembly. BSNews has asked Ms. Netetska to share her thoughts and plans in the article for our edition.
Informall Business Group, specially for BSNews. In first half of 2013 Black Sea container terminals of Romania, Ukraine, Georgia and Bulgaria handled 1 275 356 TEU, including empties, but transshipment is not included. In this review all data is related to laden containers and general amount was 876 194 TEU. In result general growth in the region for laden containers for the first half of 2013 was 7,33%, comparing to the same period of 2012.
2nd NATO Mediterranean group frigates in Odessa: Spanish BLAS DE LEZO and Turkish SALIHREIS - exclusively photos by BSN 1
Andrei KLIMENKO, Vladimir TROFIMOV (photos), BSNews. Spanish and Turkish frigates, taking part in NATO and Bulgarian Navy exercises Breeze 2013, conducted in Varna on July 6-15, 2013 at the same time with Odessa Sea Breeze, arrived to Odessa on Saturday, July 20, 2013, between 15.00 and 16.00. Both vessels are the basis of the 2nd NATO permanent navy Mediterranean group (SNMG-2)
Vladimir YEVSEYEV, director of the Center for Public Policy Research, Moscow, specially for BSNews. However, in mid-May, the Mediterranean force saw its status upgraded to being directly subordinate to the General Staff of the Russian Navy. On June 1, the formation, consisting of 16 warships, plus auxiliary vessels and three helicopters, commenced military duty under the command of the large anti-submarine ship Admiral Panteleev.
Informall Business Group, specially for BSNews. Last years container market of Georgia had the most rapid growth among other countries of the Black Sea and still has a space for further growth. Existing volumes of Georgian container market have significantly increased during last 5 years. In 2007 Georgian container market was only 8,8% of the Black Sea market but according to Informall forecasts in 2013 it shall be already 14,6%. Volumes increased from almost 200k TEU in 2008 to 357k TEU in 2012.
Joint Declaration of the Ministers Participating in the meeting of the Ministers in Charge of Economy of the BSEC Member States 1
Tatiana GUCHAKOVA, Mihail ROZENSHTEJN (photo), BSNews. The Meeting of the Ministers in charge of Economy of the BSEC Member States was held in Yalta, Ukraine, on 23 May 2013, under the Chairmanship-in-Office of Ukraine. The representatives of the Member States discussed and adopted a joint declaration. In the said document titled the “Joint Declaration of the Ministers Participating in the Meeting of the Ministers in charge of Economy of the BSEC Member States,” the Ministers declared their willingness to join efforts for the optimization of the economic, social, infrastructural, natural, scientific and technical potential for the creation of favorable conditions for integration in the Black Sea region.
Eugene KOGAN, The Center for International and European Studies (CIES), Istanbul. The two unresolved conflicts in the South Caucasus hang over Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia like the Sword of Damocles. As seen from every view point, Russia’s influence, levers and policy toward conflicts resolution remain the key issues. As long as Moscow maintains a status quo policy and keeps the outside actors at arm’s length from the region, the unresolved conflicts will continue to fester.
Andrei KLIMENKO, Alexey SOLOVIEV, Tatiana GUCHAKOVA, BSNews. On March 8, 2013, being on visit to Istanbul on our "Black Sea" issues regarding our interaction with BSEC, we managed to interview Mr. Mehmet Baspinar, Vice President on “our region” in the head office of Turkish Airlines. We realized, that to make it into the head office of the largest airlines of the world is predeterminedly anything but simple. But ... Well, all told, just read.
Mitat CELIKPALA, Associate Professor at Kadir Has University, Istanbul. Energy competition in the Black Sea region, which was not in the spotlight in the post-2008 Russia- Georgia war period and was under the influence of the international financial crisis, has been showing signs of revival with the prospects of economic recovery and the signing of new agreements. For the last few years, Turkey has been trying to implement a comprehensive energy and foreign policy by considering alternative pipelines. This has not been an easy task for a transit country.
Natalya BELITSER, Kyiv, Ukraine. The ‘frozen’ situation of this conflict has essentially changed over the last couple of years. Therefore, in order to assess the new opportunities, but also risks and challenges linked to these changes, this paper addresses the background and the environment in which the conflict developed, and previous attempts of its resolution...
Elena GNEDINA, Nicu POPESCU, Center for International and European Studies (CIES) at Kadir Has University, Istanbul, specially for BSNews. In this period, the EU undoubtedly developed and intensified its relations with most of its eastern neighbors, but has hardly managed to 'change' them or significantly alter the course of their development...
Kostyantyn Hryshchenko in interview with BSNews: «For the Black Sea region vision of the common future is important» 1
Andrei Klimenko, Tatiana GUCHAKOVA, BSNews. On December 15, 2012 Istanbul hosted the 27th summit of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Black Sea Economic Cooperation, during which Ukraine formally accepted from Turkey the BSEC chairmanship.The Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kostyantyn HRYSHCHENKO gave an exclusive interview to BSNews before the summit’s opening ...
The new Secretary General of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization - BSEC - in an exclusive interview with BSNews
Andrei KLIMENKO, Tatiana GUCHAKOVA (photo), Michael ROZENSHTEIN (photo), BSNews. This conversation took place in early October, when the Moldovan diplomat and historian, Professor Victor Tvircun has worked for the first three months as the Secretary General of BSEC. We took advantage of his profession in order to talk about the "historic risks" and historical perspectives for the Black Sea economies...
The Democratization of the BSEC Parliamentary Assembly and the Implications for Conflict-resolution in the Wider Black Sea Region
Dr. Carol WEAVER, Mukhtar HAJIZADA, CIES Policy Briefs №1 (Kadir Has University, Istanbul), special for BSNews. This Brief proposes a new idea of fully democratizing the BSEC. In order to bring about improved democracy, the Parliamentary Assembly of BSEC would have popular elections to its chamber...
Alla YAZ'KOVA, Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Over the two decades that passed after the USSR break-up, the previously rather calm and in a way peripheral Black Sea region has become a crossroad of multifaceted contradictions and geopolitical competition...
Dimitrios TRIANTAPHYLLOU, Center for International and European Studies, Turkey. There is no clear trend as to the direction the Black Sea Region is going towards today. The verdict is still out as to whether, in geopolitical terms, it is border region or a «‘bridge or buffer zone’, a ‘pivot’ that lies at the centre of a Mackinder-type ‘geopolitical heartland’».
Valeri RATCHEV, Director, Political Cabinet, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Bulgaria. Nine times out of ten the wider Black Sea area is pictured in security analyses as a cross-field of geopolitical regions («region-between-regions») in which prevailing players exercise different instruments of power with the intention to establish some kind of control – political, economic, and even military.
The Black Sea Region Has Become The Place Of Collision Of Two World Outlooks: European And Neo-Soviet
Tengiz PKHALADZE, Chairman, International Centre for Geopolitical Studies, Georgia. Razumkov Centre’s Roundtable. The Black Sea region instead of cooperation has been turned into the scene of geopolitical confrontation. The Russian Federation – after the World War II, the Black Sea was actually placed under the control of the Soviet empire. As the USSR successor, the Russian Federation is still enthralled by its old ambitions...
Implications of the Global Crisis for the Black Sea Region. A Report by the Commission on the Black Sea (3)
BSNews editorial note. We continue to publish a series of reports of the Commission on the Black Sea which reassess the economic, social, regional political and military developments in the Black Sea region. This is a final part of the first report which provides a better understanding of the parameters of the economic developments in the Black Sea. Its author – Panayotis GAVRAS.
The Economic Transformation of the Black Sea Region. A Report by the Commission on the Black Sea (2)
BSNews editorial note. We continue to publish a series of reports of the Commission on the Black Sea which reassess the economic, social, regional political and military developments in the Black Sea region. This is a continuation of the first report which provides a better understanding of the parameters of the economic developments in the Black Sea. Its author – Panayotis GAVRAS.
Recalls that the Black Sea region needs active policies and long-lasting solutions to cope with the considerable regional and transnational challenges facing it, such as protracted conflicts, displaced populations, bilateral disputes, closed borders and strategic rivalries leading to militarisation and proliferation of arms, weak institutions and governance and the deterioration of democratic rule, border and movement management, and poor maritime security and safety;
...Whereas the Black Sea Synergy (BSS) has had the merit of recognising the Black Sea region as strategic for the EU, together with the need for strengthened EU involvement in the area; whereas BSS results have so far been rather limited and no clear and comprehensive picture exists of the current implementation results of the BSS, exposing the EU to criticism that it lacks a strategic vision for the region and that it is applying a fragmented approach to implementation...
The Current State of Economic Development in the Black Sea Region. A Report by the Commission on the Black Sea (1)
BSNews editorial note. We continue to publish a series of reports of the Commission on the Black Sea which reassess the economic, social, regional political and military developments in the Black Sea region. This report provides a better understanding of the parameters of the economic developments in the Black Sea. Its author – Panayotis GAVRAS.
The Commission on the Black Sea, www.blackseacom.eu. The increased geopolitical volatility of the region has proven, time and again, that unresolved issues can ignite into open warfare. Its festering conflicts retard economic development and have the potential to flare up into wider conflagrations. While the opportunity to transfer Caspian oil and gas to European markets raises hopes for regional economic development and prosperity, competition to control pipelines, shipping lanes and transport routes to secure increased political and economic influence...