In the five years since the illegal annexation of Crimea, Russia is said to have turned the region into a ‘military fortress’ by increasing military personnel on the ground and developing a multi-layered air, naval and coastal defence system.
The annexation has also meant that Russia now shares a direct maritime border with Bulgaria and Romania – two members of the Atlantic Alliance – in the Black Sea. Moreover, the Kremlin has been accused of seeking to establish control over the neighbouring Sea of Azov and close it to Ukrainian navigation.
Most recently, it built a bridge over the Kerch straight, a waterway connecting Russia to Crimea.
This panel explores the impact of this new Russian dominance in the Black Sea region on the power dynamics between Russia, Ukraine and NATO.
How can Ukraine defend its territorial integrity from further encroachments?
What does Russian militarization of the Black Sea mean for wider European security?
And what has been NATO’s response to date and how can the alliance design an effective strategy to counter future security risks?
James Appathurai, Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs, NATO
Colonel Vadym Skibitskyi, Deputy Head of Defence Intelligence, Ministry of Defence, Ukraine
Chair: Orysia Lutsevych, Research Fellow and Manager, Ukraine Forum, Russia and Eurasia Programme, Chatham House