Topics - geopolitics
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)
Ukraine comes out with a package of initiatives on cruise tourism, single brand, and municipal assembly of the Black Sea at PABSEC General Assembly
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.
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.
Tank Landing Ship “Azov” of the Russian Black Sea fleet once again moved to the Mediterranean from the Black Sea via Bosporus
Andrei Klimenko, Anatoliy Odaynik, Vladimir Trofimov, BSNews. Two Turkish naval vessels - the military transport ro-ro ferry TCG ISKENDERUN (A1600), manufactured in Turkey, and the former German Donau (A 69), currently the training and staff vessel, TCG SOKULLU MEHMET PASA (A577) – came to Odessa on 2013-05-20...
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...
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.
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 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...
Black Sea Region Constitutes A Forward Stronghold Of The European And Global Fight Against «New» Threats
Jakob HEDENSKOG, Defence Research Agency, Sweden.The Black Sea area is a region of great potential but also one beset with problems and risks. Due to its strategic location in the middle of Eurasia, control of the Black Sea region is of great geopolitical interest. For instance, the Black Sea region derives relevance from its position as a vital transit route, as an «energy corridor» between Europe and the Caspian Sea
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...
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...