Experts from the New Strategy Center are visiting the US in Washington on 13-17 November for a series of meetings and events to present the strategic importance of the Black Sea region, freedom of navigation and the region’s energy stakes in the context of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.
George Scutaru, CEO of the New Strategy Center, Marcel Foca, Senior Associate Expert at NSC, Laurențiu Pachiu, Vice President of Energy Policy Group, met on Tuesday, June 20, at the Hudson Institute and Atlantic Council offices with US security and foreign affairs experts and presented the assessment of the security situation in the Black Sea, the strategic importance of freedom of navigation in the context of Russia’s current war of aggression against Ukraine, the energy stakes in the region. The Romanian experts stressed the need for a predictable and long-term US policy dedicated to the Black Sea region. The exchange of views revealed the need for continued support for Ukraine, especially from the US, even in the context of other major security crises, such as in the Middle East. Decreasing this support will negatively influence the course of the war in Ukraine and increase Russia’s appetite to continue hostilities to annex new Ukrainian territory, further destabilising the security situation in the Black Sea region and on NATO’s Eastern flank as a whole.
The American experts were briefed by Rear Admiral Liviu Coman, Commander of the Maritime Component of the Naval Forces General Staff, on the challenges to freedom of navigation in the Black Sea, the danger of mines and the efforts of the Romanian Naval Forces to keep safe the corridor through which dozens of ships carrying Ukrainian grain to global markets pass.
A multi-pronged strategic approach is needed from the US, politically, militarily, economically, together with its partners in the region, to counter destabilising actions by the Russian Federation caused by large-scale military aggression against Ukraine and hybrid actions directed against NATO and the EU and partner states, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia. The NSC experts presented their assessments of the current security situation, including the hybrid war unleashed by the Russian Federation against the Republic of Moldova, the energy stakes in the Black Sea region, bearing in mind that from 2027, once gas exploitation from the Neptun Deep perimeter in the Black Sea starts, Romania will become the largest gas producer in the EU. The important role Romania plays in the current strategic context was thus underlined, including in supporting Ukraine’s grain exports.
Through this series of meetings and events, the New Strategy Center experts are advocating the need for the US Congress to pass the Black Sea Security Act, a bill that aims to develop a long-term US strategy for the Black Sea in multiple areas.