08/04/2022 keta

Black Sea Cooperation for Stronger Security: Georgia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan

Project Duration: 04.2022 || 10.2022

Status: Ongoing

Donor: The European Union through BST

Partner: Foreign Policy Council “Ukrainian Prism” and Caucasus Policy Analysis Centre (CPAC)

Budget: €37,835

The geopolitical competition has recently intensified further in the Black Sea Area with Russia aggressively promoting its exclusive vision of the region. The recent regional initiatives include the Russian proposal on Ukraine which can be translated as a demand to formally recognize the post-Soviet area as Russia’s sphere of influence or the 3+3 initiative in the South Caucasus which excludes the Western actors and invites the influence of Iran and Russia. These and other initiatives put enormous pressure on countries in the region and bear a bigger potential for new conflicts in already volatile and conflict-rid regions. While the international actors, including the EU, NATO, and the US, have been attempting to find a solution and avoid large-scale conflicts, local actors have increasing concerns that the geopolitical interests of bigger players may overlook the aspirations and interests of the smaller Black Sea countries. This project attempts to fill this gap and unpack the local concerns by providing an inside-out perspective on how political elites in the Black Sea countries perceive a new geopolitical reshuffling and what would be the acceptable range of reactive measures to quickly deteriorating security environment in the Black Sea area.

The project “Black Sea Cooperation for Stronger Security: Georgia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan” follows three broad interrelated objectives

  • First, the project will provide the international actors, including the policy practitioners, policymakers, and expert communities in the EU, NATO, and the US, with significant analytical information on what is to be expected from the three countries as a response to Russia’s newly found assertiveness.
  • Second, the project outputs will also help expert communities and policy practitioners in Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Ukraine to better understand the concerns of each other, and find areas of potential synergies to improve their regional cooperation and overall peace-building efforts in the region.
  • Third, the project aims to improve dialogue between societal and non-state stakeholders, specifically the expert communities and state authorities which is lacking in the wider Black Sea area countries.

Project activities:

  • Joint policy paper on the role of Russia in the security environment in the wider Black Sea region
  • Country roundtable discussions addressing country-specific contexts about security challenges and possible ways forward
  • Series of policy memos analyzing the challenges to security in Georgia, Ukraine, and Azerbaijan
  • Presentation of the policy paper: perspectives Georgia, Ukraine Azerbaijan regarding wider Black Sea Security in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine