The Black Sea, which borders three NATO nations and two important American partners, is a critical spot for transatlantic security. The Russian Federation occupied and has militarized Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, has warships operating, and has not only threatened Black Sea access and commerce but has blockaded Ukraine’s ability to export vital agricultural products to the regions of the world in need.
Russia has downed and unmanned American drone over international waters in the Black Sea and has and is deterring American and international activity over international waters.
Russia’s on-going military aggression throughout the region must be contained and eliminated so that there can be a peaceful and stable situation for the nations and their people in the region.
In the FOUN’s 2023 Priority Recommendations for U.S. Assistance to Ukraine published in March of this year, one of the recommendations of FOUN’s Task Force on National Security was for the enactment of The Black Sea Security Act of 2023 (Senate - S. 804 – Senator Shaheen; House – H.R. 1680 – Congressman Keating – both bills with significant bi-partisan co-sponsors and support). The legislation seeks a more comprehensive strategy for the Untied States engagement with the Black Sea-bordering nations, including a blueprint for stronger military and economic ties.
The language of the legislation has been added to the Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act, which is currently in House-Senate Conference.
On Wednesday, the Senate Subcommittee on Europe held a hearing “Assessing the Department of State’s Strategy for Security in the Black Sea Region”. FOUN presented a statement to the Committee and its members, and it is set out here.