Black Sea Security

International Cooperation and Counter-Trafficking in the Black Sea Region


Houston, F.,
Wood, W.D.,
Robinson, D.M.

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The Black Sea is a vital strategic crossroads between Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East. Comprising at least ten countries, with diverse religious, cultural, political and economic backgrounds, the region was shaped historically by centuries of conflict between the Ottoman and Russian empires, and in the 20th century by the rise and dramatic collapse of the Soviet Union and the subsequent post-Cold War emergence of newly independent states. The region faces emerging security challenges of major international strategic interest, not least because 80% of all Russian gas destined for Europe transits through the Black Sea states. The nexus for unresolved territorial conflicts which have led to the establishment of intractable guerrilla regimes, the region is also a hotbed of illicit trafficking in counterfeit goods, drugs, weapons and radioactive material from discarded former Soviet facilities. This book expands on the proceedings and subsequent contributions resulting from a NATO workshop held at Oxford University. The workshop on Black Sea security cooperation brought together key government and private sector stakeholders in the region. The first part of the book covers the security challenges to the Black Sea region. The second part looks at the prospects for shaping a new security architecture in the region, highlighting various regional law enforcement and counter-trafficking cooperation initiatives and proposing a range of technical security cooperation solutions to the ongoing challenges. The final part of the book offers perspectives on the South Ossetia conflict.