SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN THE BLACK SEA: A CONVERSATION WITH ROMANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER BOGDAN AURESCU - The Black Sea region is increasingly an area of strategic importance for the United States, its allies and for the Euro-Atlantic community as a whole. The Black Sea region is dominated by Russia’s aggressive behavior—through increased military presence or large-scale exercises conducted in breach of the existing normative framework—and is an area where the risk of further severe escalations and aggressive maneuvers remain high.
Russia also seeks to create divisions among members of the NATO Alliance and continues to take advantage of the protracted conflicts it illegally began in Georgia and Ukraine to limit both countries’ Western aspirations. The region is likewise critical in the lens of strategic competition with China, whose ambitions extend into this part of Europe in a bid for greater economic dominance.
In the face of these challenges, NATO and EU members have begun to approach the region more comprehensively by strengthening security cooperation and collective defense; boosting investments in infrastructure, connectivity, and innovation through the Three Seas Initiative; as well as emphasizing the importance of democracy for the region’s growth.
As the United States and Romania strengthen their cooperation on this range of issues, Minister Aurescu joined the Atlantic Council to discuss Romania’s perspective on the Black Sea neighborhood, active engagement in regional security, as well as future opportunities for transatlantic cooperation in the region.
ORIGINAL AIRDATE: 11/09/2021