Old and New Challenges to the Baltic and Black Sea Regions

On September 4th, 2018, New Strategy Center organized a debate on the security challenges in the Black and the Baltic Sea region – Old and New Challenges to the Baltic and Black Sea Regions” – within the Economic Forum in Krynica, Poland, an annual event dedicated to security and economic cooperation in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe.

Mr. Ben Oni Ardelean, Vice-Chairman of the Committee for Foreign Policy, the Chamber of Deputies, Romania, Mr. Tengiz Pkhaladze, advisor to the President of Georgia for foreign relations, dl. Mikhailo Samus, deputy director for foreign relations, Center for Army, Conversion and Disarmament Studies, from Ukraine participated at the debate moderated by B.G. (rtd.) Mircea Mîndrescu, senior associate fellow at the New Strategy Center.

The debate analyzed the security challenges to in the Black and the Baltic Sea region, which alarmingly increased after the annexation of Crimea by Russia and due to the militarization process, that jeopardizes the entire NATO Eastern Flank. The discussions revealed that we are facing new dangers, such as information aggression or cyber-attacks, which add to some instruments used in the past, like the political or the energy pressures, thus replenishing the arsenal of hybrid threats. It is very important to maintain cohesion at NATO level and to honor the commitments assumed in the spirit of the Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, that guarantees security to the members of the Alliance. The need for a well-balanced approach, in NATO’s decisions, between the Northern tier and the Southern tier of the Eastern flank was also emphasized during the event, taking into account that the Black Sea region is more vulnerable considering all the frozen conflicts powered by Russia in this area.

The Forum in Krynica has been organized annually by the Institute for Eastern Studies Foundation (ISW) since 1990, and this year, the prestigious event hosted around 3,000 participants from all over the world. This is the third year New Strategy Center has attended this event, promoting the strategic importance of the Black Sea region.