Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation
Te Black Sea rust forRegional Cooperation
B-dul Primaverii nr. 50Corp 6 “Casa Mica”Sector 1Bucharest, Romania +40 21 314 16 28F +40 21 319 32 74E BlackSearust@gmus.org
A East-West StrategicCorridor connects Central Asiato the Eastern border of theEU and NATO via the SouthernCaucasus, as both a physicalcorridor for transportation, trade,and energy, and a virtual onefor economic and investmentprojects. The development of
this corridor will bring benefts to
all countries it directly involves,to their neighbor countries, andto the EU and United States intheir stated intention to accessthe resource-rich land-lockedCentral Asia. The corridor linksthis region to Europe and furtherto the Atlantic, providing foralternative sources and routes forenergy and trade, and a secureroute that could be used for thetransport of military materialinside NATO. It brings economic
and security benefts to the
region, while also exposing thelocal populations to the valuesand principles of modern Westernsocieties, particularly democracyand human rights.
The East-West Black Sea/Caspian SeaCorridor in the Age of Uncertainty
by Iulian Chifu
From the Editor
In the ve years since the launch o theBlack Sea rust, the Black Sea regionhas gone through dramatic events and major changes, which aected bothindividual countries and the region as awhole. Te Black Sea rust has devot-edly assisted civic groups in the nineBlack Sea countries with reacting or adapting to political and social events,researching the dynamics o the region, promoting stronger relations withinternational community, and building bridges between societies or groups inconfict. Five years on, the rust refectson the current context in the region and the challenges ahead.
Te East-West Black Sea-Caspian SeaCorridor perectly complements theNew Silk Road, introduced by U.S.Secretary o State Hillary Clinton in2011. As a project or Aghanistanand the broader region, the New Silk Road is about transportation, trade,and energy linking Central Asia viaAghanistan to Pakistan, India, andChina, re-connecting economies thathad been torn apart by decades o warand rivalry. For its part, the East-West Corridor gives the economieso Central Asia and, through them, o East and South Asia, direct access toEurope, so they perectly complementeach other.Te project is not without challenges.Political and electoral contexts now and in the coming two years, and thehistorical events that will be commem-orated in 2015, raise new risks to thedevelopment o the corridor. Conictin Syria, immigration to Russia by Syrian Circassians, the upcomingSochi Winter Olympic Games as wellas the commemoration o 100 yearssince the events o 1915 could eachconsiderably delay the project. Teproject could be secured by the clearpolitical commitment o the countriesit involves, which would oer a legiti-mate guarantee or its sustainability,and by the maniest interest o theUnited States and the EU.
The Importance of the East-WestCorridor
Te strategic weight o Central Asiaderives rom its proximity to severalconict zones, but also rom itseconomic potential and vicinity totwo major actors, Russia and China,both o which have uncertain relationswith the West. Iraq, Aghanistan, andIran are also in close proximity. Any direct and sae access into the hearto Central Asia should be a strategicsecurity incentive or the West. CentralAsia’s riches and economic potentialare o interest to the EU, which needsalternative sources and routes o energy. Te entry o the United Statesand the EU in the region would changethe regional power game and wouldbring a needed counterbalance toRussia and China.