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Ships participating in a military drill in the Black Sea.

Cooperation and confrontation on the Black Sea

Of Strategic Importance

July 2019, Number 09.03

“Recent developments in the international system have increased the complexities of global security structures, not least of which is the resurgence of Russia as an ambitious regional and global power. When Russia demonstrated a capacity to launch proxy operations across its near abroad, NATO and Western-aligned countries in the region proved incapable of consolidating and exhibiting an effective counterstrategy. In 2014, then-NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen characterized Russian military aggression as “the most serious crisis in Europe since the fall of the Berlin Wall” and declared that NATO “can no longer do business as usual with Russia.”

Russia’s efforts to restore its pre-Cold War, Soviet-style regional supremacy include a number of hybrid operations in the Baltics, Eastern Europe and, most recently, in the Black Sea region and Eurasia. Russia is mainly focusing on soft power to challenge the West without crossing red lines. Many experts agree that Russian policy is driven by its desire to restore its “great power” status. The annexation of Crimea, following Russia’s 2004 invasion of Georgia, is an indicator of the Kremlin’s evolving military strategy in the Black Sea region...”

Excerpt from Natia Gvenetadze, “Of Strategic Importance,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 9, No. 3, 2019: 42-47.

Natia Gvenetadze is the head of the Professional and Institutional Development Department at the Defence Institution Building School at the Ministry of Defence of Georgia. Previously, she served as head of the International Relations Division at the National Defence Academy of Georgia and worked at the Defence Policy and Planning Department at the Ministry of Defence of Georgia. She holds master’s degrees in international security and strategy from King’s College London and in social sciences from International Black Sea University in Tbilisi, Georgia. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in conflict analysis and management at Tbilisi State University.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.