Author: Giorgi Surmava, Zurab Batiashvili, David Batashvili, Alex Petriashvili

The following anthology is dedicated to the Black Sea security situation, an issue that drew particularly focused attention following the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia, when the Kremlin began rapid militarization of the peninsula, while also strengthening its military capabilities in the entire Black Sea basin.

The Russian-Ukrainian War was soon followed by the active intervention of Russia in the Syrian conflict, further emphasizing the importance of the Black Sea, as it was precisely through the Black Sea that Russia aided hostilities in Syria and established communication lines with a Russian naval base there.

Russia’s active engagement in the Black Sea precipitated increased NATO interest towards the region. In recent years, NATO experts have been actively discussing the so-called “Black Sea dimension”, that is, the need to develop a new strategy for the region which reflects the improved capabilities of NATO and its individual member states in the Black Sea, forging closer ties with local partners, increasing visits of naval vessels to the Sea, and resisting Russian military domination in general.

The exacerbation of the situation in the Black Sea is a significant challenge for Turkey, in particular. The Montreux Convention grants Turkey a special role, which it is trying to maintain, and yet the Russian aggressive policy in the region cannot but trouble it.

What role can Georgia play in this situation? What challenges or opportunities does the return of the Black Sea to the strategic map of the world bring for Georgia?

This anthology presents the views of four experts from the Rondeli Foundation: General Giorgi Surmava reviews the military capabilities of the Black Sea countries; the Turkish perspective is introduced by Zurab Batiashvili; David Batashvili discusses the Russian point of view; while Alex Petriashvili deliberates the Western approach and the role of Georgia.