The Black Sea Region in the Contest of Geopolitical Projects of the Great Powers, 1991-2019

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Abstract


The Black Sea region (BSR) is becoming a geopolitical space of clash - a frontline zone for the formation of a new system of international relations. After the Cold War, the region from the peripheral became one of the centers of competition between regional and global powers. It has mostly geopolitical rather than simple geographical character, significantly expanding its borders in at least four variations: the BS as the space of seven coastal states, the BS as the Baltic-Black Sea region, the BS as the Black Sea-Caspian Sea region, and the BS as the “nerve center” of the Greater Mediterranean. The article analyzes the geopolitical projects of great powers in relation to the Black Sea region in 1991-2019. The aim is to study the evolution and dynamics of these geopolitical projects by comparing the conceptual and doctrinal levels, as well as the level of practical policy of the key actors in relation to the Black Sea region. The scientific novelty lies in the systematic analysis of the geopolitical projects of great powers in the BSR after the Cold War, which becomes one of the critically important regions in the current period of world history. The authors conclude that the United States, the EU and Turkey follow an offensive strategy in the BSR, while Russia’s strategy is aimed at maintaining the status quo. After 2014, the USA and its allies have embarked on a third attempt to implement the Euro-Atlantic Black Sea project and the Greater Black Sea project, which involve the displacement of the Russian Federation from the Black Sea region. The geopolitical significance of the BSR is determined by its strategic location at the intersection of the interests of key actors. Their competition in the BSR is carried out both at the regional (Russia - Turkey - EU) and global (USA - Russia, Turkey, Iran; EU - Russia, Turkey, USA; China - USA, EU, Russia) levels, determining the content of conceptual approaches to the political structure of the region and specific integration (and infrastructure) projects. The complexity of the current geopolitical situation in the region is determined by a large number of competing powers and changing contours of the international system. The main axis of intra-regional competition in the BSR is focused on achieving a balance of power between Russia and Turkey.


About the authors

Aleksandr Anatolievich Irkhin

Sevastopol State University

Author for correspondence.
Email: alex.irhin@mail.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7895-550X
Sevastopol, Russian Federation

PhD, Dr. of Sc. (Political Sciences), Head, Political Science and Philosophy Department, Institute of Social Sciences and International Relations

Olga Aleksandrovna Moskalenko

Sevastopol State University

Email: kerulen@bk.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4162-3162
Sevastopol, Russian Federation

PhD in Philology, Associate Professor, Theory and Practice of Translation Department, Institute of Social Sciences and International Relations

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