Russia's Strategy in the Black Sea: How NATO Can Up Its Game
Sep 24, 2019
As a central locus of the competition between Russia and the West for the future of Europe, the Black Sea region raises several critical questions: What is Russia's strategy there? How do Russian instruments of influence and military developments support that strategy? What key interests do other Black Sea littoral states want to advance and protect? What are the elements of a sustainable Western strategy to protect those interests?
Regional Perspectives from a 2019 Workshop
|PDF file||0.1 MB||
Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.
The Black Sea region is a central locus of the competition between Russia and the West for the future of Europe. The region experienced two decades of simmering conflicts even before Moscow's illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, and Russia has used military force against other countries in the region four times since 2008. As participants at a March 2019 workshop in Bucharest, Romania, discussed, Russia is also using informational, economic, energy, and clandestine instruments to advance its goals of transforming the Black Sea, along with the Sea of Azov, into virtual internal waterways, where Russia can have the kind of freedom of action it has achieved in the Caspian Sea. While the Black Sea littoral countries want to protect themselves from Russian hostile interference, domestic political factors as well as the countries' membership in or level of association with the European Union and NATO influence the degree of overlap and divergence in their interests. Under the circumstances, it is difficult for Western countries to craft and implement a coherent, sustainable strategy to protect common interests and counter malign Russian influence and intimidation, even as it is critical that they do so.
Russia's Strategy in the Black Sea Region
Russian Military and Soft-Power Instruments
Western Goals and Interests
Elements of a Western Strategy
This workshop and research were sponsored by the Russia Strategic Initiative of the United States European Command (EUCOM) and conducted within the International Security and Defense Policy Center of the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Conference proceeding series. RAND conference proceedings present a collection of papers delivered at a conference or a summary of the conference.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.