GCMC Participates in Crimea Platform's Second Black Sea Security Conference in Bulgaria

Dr. Yevgeniya Speaks at Gaber Black Sea Security Conference

GCMC Participates in Crimea Platform's Second Black Sea Security Conference in Bulgaria

On April 14th and 15th, GCMC’s Dr. Yevgeniya Gaber, Professor of National Security Studies and a founding member of the Crimea Platform's Expert Network, participated in the second Black Sea Security Conference of the International Crimean Platform held in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The Crimea Platform stands as an international initiative spearheaded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, aimed at orchestrating a unified global response to the persistent Russian occupation of Crimea and the escalating militarization of the Black Sea.

This year's conference, jointly hosted by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense of Ukraine and Bulgaria, drew delegations from 43 countries and nine international organizations. Notable attendees included ministers of foreign affairs and defense, heads of various international organizations and agencies, as well as diplomats and experts representing diverse regions worldwide. Additionally, the conference included the heads of the GCMC Alumni Organizations in Georgia and Bulgaria.

Discussions revolved around the myriad security challenges plaguing the Black Sea region, primarily stemming from Russia's aggressive incursions into Ukraine. Topics spanned the gamut from the immediate threats to regional stability to broader concerns such as global food security, safe navigation, and environmental degradation wrought by the conflict.

During the conference, experts affiliated with the Crimea Platform presented a comprehensive set of policy recommendations geared towards fostering a collective response to counter the military and hybrid threats posed by Russian aggression in the region.

“The Crimea Platform’s Black Sea Security Conference participants conveyed a very clear message that there can be no security and stability in the Black Sea region without the de-occupation of Crimea. Unless liberated, Russia will use the occupied Crimean Peninsula militarily, strategically, logistically, and economically to make territorial advances in Ukraine, control lines of communication in the Black Sea, and project power to the Mediterranean. That’s why the war that started in 2014 in Crimea must end with Russia’s withdrawal from Crimea,” said Dr. Gaber.

Noteworthy among the conference proceedings was a panel discussion titled "Ensuring Maritime Stability: International Organizations and Black Sea Security," which Dr. Gaber moderated. Esteemed panelists included Manfred Seitz, Director-General of the Secretariat of the Danube Commission; Birgit Vogel, Executive Secretary of the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR); Dimitrios Rallis, Deputy Secretary General of the Permanent International Secretariat of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC); Henrik Hansen, Regional Supply Chain Officer at the United Nations World Food Programme; and Hiroyuki Yamada, Director of the Maritime Safety Department at the International Maritime Organization.