Trapped between Two Visions: The Black Sea, Ukraine, and Regional Security

Kevork Oskanian

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The crisis in Ukraine has highlighted the ongoing competition of two competing regional projects and their commensurate approaches to ‘security’ in the Black Sea region. The European Union and Russia do not only differ in their nature as security actors, with the former being a supra-national entity and the latter a conventional state power. They also hold greatly diverging conceptualisations of security, with the EU seeing it as emerging from liberal integration processes, and the Russian Federation holding a much more conventional and realist geopolitical view. Such conventional balance-of-power views of security become
more relevant as one moves towards the East of the continent, among the newer EU members and the former Soviet states, for whom the NATO alliance and the regional balance remain of utmost importance. This makes the outcome of the Ukraine crisis essential to the perception of the balance of power in Europe, which, considering the relative commitments and methods of both the EU and Russia, is liable to become the major dividing line for the continent’s security. Policymakers must thus be prepared for an unwelcome return to a realist, power-political view – including a revalidation of NATO - in their attempts to understand the new dynamics and potential scenarios in the Balkans,
Turkey, and the South Caucasus.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnrewarding Crossroads?
Subtitle of host publicationThe Black Sea Region amidst the European Union and Russia
EditorsAnahit Shirinyan, Louisa Slavkova
Place of PublicationSofia
PublisherSofia Platform
ISBN (Electronic)978-619-90431-2-7
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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