RUSSIA’S GEOPOLITICAL DETERMINATIONS IN THE BLACK SEA
The present paper analyzes the projection of Russia's economic and military power in the Black Sea region, seen both in terms of its huge resources and as a way of projecting military power in the coastal States and the Eastern Mediterranean. The energy perspective is important in Russia's geopolitics, and the Black Sea region is perceived by it as the point of confluence of several globalist interests, in which Russia desires not only to be a mediator, but the decisive pivot to impose regional policy. Creating an energy dependency of the West on Russian resources represents a well-defined political goal in the Russian strategy. Russian gas is thus becoming a Trojan horse, by which Russia can influence European policies, this energy instrument being complemented by other powerful instruments aimed at undermining or diminishing NATO's role in Eastern Europe. Russian interests are concentrating firstly on the desire to maintain different levels of political and economic influence in each coastal State, to maintain the Black Sea under control for oil or gas exports and other maritime transport through Novorossiysk port as well as preventing a security deficit toward NATO that could threaten the South-West flank of Kremlin. In pursuing these interests, Russia's strategy is based on the use of political, diplomatic, information and economic instruments, which are supported by an increasingly credible military capacity, analyzed and explained in this paper.
Keywords: Russian-Ukrainian war; Crimea; energy weapon; Black Sea
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