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The U.S. perspective on Black Sea security

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In recent years, the Black Sea has emerged from relative obscurity to a focal point of strategic interest, prompting renewed attention from the United States. 

While historically overshadowed, Washington now recognizes the imperative of maintaining a "free and open" Black Sea, albeit with uncertainties regarding its commitment to regional initiatives.

Acknowledging the strategic significance, President Joe Biden's administration formulated a Black Sea strategy, underscored by legislative mandates emphasizing the region's importance in the National Defense Authorization Act. The US has lent support to cooperative endeavors aimed at bolstering regional security, including joint demining operations and facilitating Ukrainian grain exports.

However, amidst these endeavors, there's a notable absence of groundbreaking US initiatives, with attention diverted by domestic concerns and upcoming elections. Yet, underlying factors ensure sustained US interest in Black Sea security, primarily anchored in safeguarding Ukraine's independence and containing Russian expansionism.

The outcome of Russia's conflict with Ukraine will decisively shape future US actions, with scenarios ranging from continued focus on the Black Sea under strategic stalemate to diminished attention in the event of Ukrainian defeat. Regardless of electoral outcomes, a bipartisan commitment to transatlantic security guarantees ongoing US engagement in Black Sea affairs.

Anticipated US priorities encompass capacity building, fostering regional cooperation, and strategic investments aimed at bolstering infrastructure and trade routes. While a reelected President Biden would likely maintain the current approach, a Republican administration may adopt a more proactive stance, emphasizing collaboration with allies to address Black Sea challenges amidst broader geopolitical recalibrations.

Metis Insights: Black Sea Grain Initiative


Source: GIS Reports