UNREWARDING CROSSROADS: THE BLACK SEA REGION AMIDST THE EU AND RUSSIA
Popular uprisings, military occupations, frozen conflicts, power competition, threats at gas cut-offs and sanctions, (dis)integration, EU, Eurasian union – these are just a few of the popular and recurring headlines that depict in short the Black Sea region we are living in ever since the end of the Cold War. Sharing the region with two giants (EU and Russia), the Black Sea countries often have swinging priorities and policies which are shifting towards the one or the other. These choices are often based on multifaceted considerations, not always understandable to the outside observers. We would like to gather wide range of answers from across the Black Sea countries as to how these states form their foreign policy priorities vis-à-vis the EU and Russia, and compile them in an essay collection.
We are pleased to present our edited collection “Unrewarding crossroads? The Black Sea Region amidst the European Union and Russia”. This book, edited by Anahit Shirinyan and Louisa Slavkova, is designed to gather expertise from the region and beyond in order to highlight the foreign policy challenges currently faced by the Black Sea countries.
As the EU-Russia rivalry is altering the geostrategic and security environment of the region, countries and actors part of it are busy reassessing the geopolitical, economic and security realities so as to revise their policies accordingly. The EU, in particular, is currently undergoing an overhaul of its European Neighbourhood Policy in order to make it more efficient and viable to the new realities on the ground. Meanwhile, Russia appears determined to keep its course of assertive, if not aggressive, neighbourhood policy, increasingly approved on the part of its own population, notwithstanding sanctions, shrinking economy, obvious economic and political downslides inside the Eurasian Economic Union, and mistrust on the part of its closest allies.
With the situation caught up in what appears to be a crisis and a stalemate all at once, we hope this volume will offer a modest contribution to an improved and strategic policy-formulation and decision-making that will eventually serve to the benefit of the whole region.
Twelve policy papers with situation analyses and recommendations were published in the edited volume “Unrewarding Crossroads: The Black Sea region amidst the EU and Russia”. Each paper is dealing with one country from the region (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine). In addition, a three analyses are dedicated to wider topical issues.
This project is funded by the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation and the Robert Bosch Stiftung. The Publication is printed with the support of America for Bulgaria Foundation.
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