U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin urged more defence cooperation among Black Sea allies ahead of a NATO Ministers summit.
- Action was needed by littoral states of the Black Sea amid Russia “militarisation” of the region.
- The region is vulnerable to Russian aggression and we’ve seen evidence of that by ongoing actions in eastern Ukraine (and) the occupations of parts of Georgia.
- Austin was in Bucharest on the third stop of a tour of the region to build confidence among allies, including Georgia and Ukraine, both of which are hoping to join NATO, and to promote greater cooperation among military forces.
- The Black Sea is a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean lying between Europe and Asia.
- It is bordered by Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine.
- It is supplied by major rivers, principally the Danube, Dnieper, and Don.
- The Black Sea ultimately drains into the Mediterranean Sea, via the Turkish Straits and the Aegean Sea.
- The Bosporus Strait connects it to the small Sea of Marmara which in turn is connected to the Aegean Sea via the Strait of the Dardanelles.
- To the north, the Black Sea is connected to the Sea of Azov by the Kerch Strait.
- The Black Sea covers 436,400 km2 (not including the Sea of Azov), making it the world’s largest inland body of water.