Security and military balance in the Black Sea region
Journal of Southeast European and Black Sea
341 - 359
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This paper analyses the current security challenges and military balance in the Black Sea region. The region, which has been going through vast political and economic transformations since the end of the Cold War, has become a platform for great power rivalry in the last few years. NATO expansion and Russian resistance to it, combined with the existing protracted conflicts, resulted in the first major regional war in a decade. The Russia-Georgia war of 2008 proved that regional actors still perceive the use of force as an acceptable tool of foreign policy. The changing military balance and abrupt increases in military expenditure from some actors suggest that the likelihood of other interstate conflicts in the region is high. Providing security and stability in the Black Sea seems more difficult than the pre-August 2008 war period.