What happens in the Black Sea does not stay in the Black Sea. The region’s status as a crossroad linking Europe, Asia, and the Middle East is its most important advantage—and its greatest risk. It is the region with the highest density of protracted conflicts. Civil wars causing major migration flows are occurring at its doorstep. Disruptive security challenges in the Black Sea ripple immediately into Europe’s core, Russia, the Caucasus, and the Middle East. Security and stability in the Black Sea are crucial for the Balkans, Russia, the Levant, and Central Asia.
This year, a severe crisis between Russia and Ukraine following increased fighting in eastern Ukraine, and/or a major military clash in contested areas, was included as a top tier priority in the Center for Preventive Action’s annual Preventive Priorities Survey.
Friends and foes alike no longer know where the United States stands. As Washington overpromises and underdelivers, regional powers are seeking solutions on their own – both through violence and diplomacy.
This graphic outlines the findings of a survey of Ukrainian and Russian public opinion on the conflict in the Donbas. For more, read the new issue of the Russian Analytical Digest ‘Russia-Ukraine‘.
Kyiv has accepted the Steinmeier formula, a mechanism for jump-starting implementation of the peace deal for parts of eastern Ukraine held by Russian-backed separatists since 2014. This decision is welcome, but the Ukrainian government should step carefully to boost chances of a settlement.