International Relations NATO, Europe, and Russia: Security Issues and the Border Regions
by
Hall Gardner
  • LAST REVIEWED: 11 July 2019
  • LAST MODIFIED: 25 June 2013
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199743292-0162

Introduction

The enlargements of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and European Union (EU) membership since the late 1990s have had a significant impact on political security issues in the differing border regions of Europe, from the Baltics, to central and eastern Europe, to Turkey and the Black Sea/Caucasus—and most crucially, upon Russia itself. Following two waves of NATO enlargement in 1997 (Poland, Czech Republic, and Hungary) and in 2004 (Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia), Albania and Croatia joined NATO in the third wave of post–Cold War enlargement in 2009. Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina received Membership Action Plans, which can open the door to NATO membership, while Cyprus and Macedonia have thus far been stalled from accession by Turkey and Greece, respectively. Both Ukraine and Georgia have been promised the possibility of NATO membership. In the meantime, the formerly neutral states of Austria, Sweden, and Finland (which directly borders Russia) acceded to the European Union in January 1995. By May 2004, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia, plus Malta and Greek (but not Turkish) Cyprus, joined the EU in a “big bang.” Romania and Bulgaria then joined in January 2007; Croatia is to join the EU by 2013. Iceland, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Turkey remain official EU candidate states, while Albania and Serbia have both applied for membership. For its part, Moscow has sent mixed signals in response to the NATO-EU “double enlargement” and to the post–Cold War transformation in the regional (and global) geopolitical “equilibrium.” This post–Cold War transformation has been accompanied by wars in the Caucasus following Soviet collapse, resulting in the “frozen conflicts,” the 1990–1995 wars in ex-Yugoslavia, followed by the 1998 war “over” Kosovo, and then the August 2008 Georgia-Russia conflict. In the process, Russia has thus far continued to oppose promises of full NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine (which Kiev under the leadership of Viktor Yanukovych has thus far ruled out). Concurrently, Russia itself has sent conflicting signals as to whether it sees European Union enlargement as more positive or negative in terms of its national security interests. The EU’s “Eastern Partnership” outreach to former Soviet-bloc states, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine, has likewise resulted in mixed reactions in Moscow. The resources selected consequently seek to provide background for NATO, European, and Russian geostrategic and security interaction in the bordering regions of the Baltic, central Europe, and Black Sea/Caucasus since the late 1990s.

General Overviews

These readings look primarily at the geopolitical and security relations between North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Europe, and Russia as a whole and seek to analyze how NATO-European Union (EU)-Russian relationships and interactions impact central and eastern Europe in general. Wolchik and Curry 2011 provides a general introduction and overview of geostrategic, political-economic, and sociocultural relationships of the entire region from a European Union perspective, as does Dannreuther 2004. Blank 2006 focuses primarily on the NATO-Russian relationship, as does Gardner 1997, Goldgeier 2010, and Smith 2006. Casarini and Musu 2007 provides an overview of European Union enlargement and the EU neighborhood policy. Lieven and Trenin 2003 looks at NATO and EU enlargement from the perspective of former Soviet-bloc states. Wolchik and Curry 2011 provides an up-to-date introductory text, while Alcaro and Jones 2011 offers an up-to-date text on European security concerns.

  • Alcaro, Riccardo, and Erik Jones, eds. European Security and the Future of Transatlantic Relations. Rome: Edizioni Nuova Cultura, 2011.

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    An up-to-date study of NATO-EU-Russian security relations dealing with arms control, ballistic missile defense, and global transatlantic relations.

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  • Blank, Stephen J. The NATO-Russia Partnership: A Marriage of Convenience or a Troubled Relationship? Carlisle, PA: US Army War College, 2006.

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    Seeks to analyze the reasons for Russia’s growing ambivalence toward NATO and the apparently burgeoning sense of NATO-Russian estrangement. Available online for free download.

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  • Casarini, Nicola, and Costanza Musu, eds. European Foreign Policy in an Evolving International System: The Road towards Convergence. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.

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    Experts analyze the EU in the international system; the EU and the major powers; the EU and the management of conflicts in the near abroad; the EU’s regional policies, including the European Neighborhood Policy; EU foreign policy toward the Balkans and the Baltic Sea Area; and EU relations with NATO and with Russia.

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  • Dannreuther, Roland, ed. European Union Foreign and Security Policy: Towards a Neighbourhood Strategy. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2004.

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    Contributors examine differing dimensions of Europe’s changing neighborhood: east-central Europe, Turkey, southeastern Europe, former Soviet countries, the Black Sea and Caucasus, north Africa, the Middle East, as well as transatlantic relations.

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  • Gardner, Hall. Dangerous Crossroads: Europe, Russia, and the Future of NATO. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1997.

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    Examines the relations between NATO, the European Union, Russia, and eastern Europe in the aftermath of Soviet collapse, from the perspective of American strategy and US Congressional interests. Focuses on ex-Yugoslavia as a testing ground for US-European-Russian cooperative-collective security.

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  • Goldgeier, James M. The Future of NATO Council of Europe. New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 2010.

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    Clear and well-balanced monograph analyzes contemporary NATO strategy and argues that the ability of NATO and the United States to collaborate with Russia will depend heavily on how Russia understands the “reset” of relations sought by the Obama administration.

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  • Lieven, Anatol, and Dmitriĭ Trenin. Ambivalent Neighbors: The EU, NATO and the Price of Membership. Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2003.

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    One of the few critical analyses of NATO and EU enlargement written both from the perspective of Western institutions as well as from the point of view of former Communist countries. Chapters cover NATO, EU, and Russian relations with Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic states, Kaliningrad, Romania, and Moldova, in addition to Russian views on NATO and the EU vis-à-vis the multiple peripheries of a divided West.

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  • Smith, Martin A. Russia and NATO since 1991: From Cold War through Cold Peace to Partnership? New York: Routledge, 2006.

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    Book investigates the nature and substance of the complex NATO-Russia relationship since 1991 and analyzes the impact of the Kosovo crisis, September 11, and the Iraq war and questions whether the creation of the NATO-Russia Council in 2001 can lead to a new partnership.

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  • Wolchik, Sharon L., and Jane L. Curry, eds. Central and East European Politics: From Communism to Democracy. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2011.

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    Experts provide a general analysis of the social, political, and security transformations taking place throughout central and eastern Europe. Issues include the socioeconomic ramifications of economic transition, political reforms, the role of women, and questions concerning ethnicity and nationalism as well as EU and NATO expansion.

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Russian Calls for a New Euro-Atlantic Security Treaty

Following Russian President’s Dmitri Medvedev’s calls for a new Euro-Atlantic security treaty in June 2008 (before the August 2008 Georgia-Russia war) a number of think tanks and individual experts analyzed Russian proposals. This list is divided into two sections: US and European Perspectives and Russian Perspectives.

US and European Perspectives

From US and European perspectives, Center for Security Studies 2009 discusses Europe’s security architecture and institutional reforms and Russia’s proposal for a new pan-European security architecture. Kühn 2010 raises the question whether Moscow wants to reissue existing Russian demands, or really engage in renewed dialogue about common security in Europe. Federov 2009 argues that Medvedev’s calls for a new Euro-Atlantic security treaty could represent a trap. Van Herpen 2008 argues that Medvedev’s proposal has six hidden goals. More positively, Aspen Institute 2009 argues that practical security cooperation is necessary in order to revitalize the NATO-Russia Council. East-West Institute 2009 outlines three paths to NATO-Russian cooperation. Fernandez 2009 argues that an EU role in improving security dialogue with Moscow is crucial. Vaquer i Fanes 2010 suggests ten ways to improve the general context of security in Europe and Russian relations with the EU and NATO. Mützenich 2010 argues that the United States needs Russia as a partner in nuclear disarmament; Russia, in turn, needs the West for its modernization policy. Gardner 2011 proposes the establishment of three International Peace Centers in Sevastopol, Kaliningrad, and Cyprus as an effective means to implement a new security framework for the Euro-Atlantic.

Russian Perspectives

From differing Russian perspectives, Arbatov, et al. 2010 questions whether NATO and Russia can forge an effective partnership, while Baranovsky 2010 argues for a variable geometry model of Euro-Atlantic security. Karaganov and Bordachev 2009 argues that the Euro-Atlantic space has thus far failed to overcome the legacy of the bipolar confrontation.

NATO, Russia, and Eastern European Relations

These readings look primarily at the impact of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) enlargement upon central and eastern Europe and Russia. Alcaro and Jones 2011 (cited under General Overviews) provides the most up-to-date overview of the security issues. Blank 2006 (cited under General Overviews), Braun 2008, Gardner 1997 (cited under General Overviews), Goldgeier 2010 (cited under General Overviews), Smith 2006 (cited under General Overviews), and Smith 2008 focus primarily on NATO-Russia relations and the question as to whether Russia can be brought into new relationship with NATO, while Greene 2012 argues that Russian resistance to NATO and EU enlargement is driven by great power ambitions and President Putin’s system of governance. Larrabee 2003 outlines a general NATO strategy toward eastern Europe and Russia. Trenin 2002 outlines the strategic challenges that Russia faces in relation to its neighboring countries and the steps needed to bring Russia closer to the United States and Europe, as does Motyl, et al. 2005.

  • Braun, Aurel, ed. NATO-Russia Relations in the Twenty-First Century. New York and London: Routledge, 2008.

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    Differing contributors focus on the NATO-Russia relationship in general with chapters on the impact of NATO and Russia on eastern Europe.

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  • Greene, James. Russian Responses to NATO and EU: Enlargement and Outreach. London: Royal Institute of International Affairs 2012.

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    Argues Russia’s resistance to NATO and EU enlargement and outreach into its claimed sphere of influence has been driven not only by zero-sum thinking and “great power” ambitions but also by the political and economic imperatives of President Putin’s system of governance.

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  • Larrabee, F. Stephen. NATO’s Eastern Agenda in a New Strategic Era. Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 2003.

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    Looks at NATO’s agenda with a focus on consolidating democratic transition in central Europe, military integration and reform, the impact of the war “over” Kosovo, and then the September 11, 2001, attacks, Germany’s influence on the east European countries, US-NATO and EU-Russian relations with eastern European regions, plus Russian relations with EU and the United States.

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  • Motyl, Alexander J., Blair A. Ruble, and Lilia Shevtsova, eds. Russia’s Engagement with the West: Transformation and Integration in the Twenty-First Century. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2005.

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    Experts discuss the challenges required for the United States and Europe to integrate Russia into a greater West. Part 1 analyzes political, economic, legal, and cultural developments in Russia for evidence of convergence with Western norms. Part 2 analyzes Russia’s relations with the EU, eastern Europe, and the United States in light of new security concerns and changing political-economic relationships.

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  • Smith, Julianne. The NATO-Russia Relationship: Defining Moment or Déjà vu? Washington, DC: CSIS, 2008.

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    Analyzes the impact of NATO enlargement and US missile defense policy on Russian and eastern European foreign and security policy as well as the consequences of the 2008 Georgia-Russia war for the region as a whole and for NATO-Russian relations.

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  • Trenin, Dmitri. The End of Eurasia: Russia on the Border between Geopolitics and Globalization. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 2002.

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    Examines the regional ramifications of Soviet collapse, the challenges that Russia faces in relation to neighboring countries throughout eastern Europe, the impact of globalization, and the steps needed to bring Russia closer to the United States and Europe.

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European Union Neighborhood Policy

The 2004 European Union (EU) enlargement to eight central and eastern European countries, plus the Euro-Mediterranean countries of Cyprus and Malta, led EU member states and the European Commission to examine EU relations with the new European Union neighborhood. This resulted in the development of the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP), of which Whitman and Wolff 2010 provides an extensive analysis, as does Delcour 2011. Dannreuther 2004 (cited under General Overviews), Lynch 2004, and Sabiote 2006 likewise provide a general overview of the EU’s security interests in the Eastern neighborhood (and how it has been linked to the European Neighborhood Policy), as does Tocci 2007. Popescu 2005 focuses on the EU’s security activities in Moldova. Russia’s reactions to and perceptions of the onset of European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) missions in this region are examined in Huff 2011 in Transnistria, Nagorno-Karabakh, and the two breakaway provinces of Georgia, namely, South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Casarini and Musu 2007 (cited under General Overviews) outlines EU policy in the international system, including EU neighborhood policy.

The Baltic Region (with Kaliningrad)

Galbreath, et al. 2008 examines Baltic state foreign policy; Clemens 2001 takes a theoretical approach to Baltic state transformation in the post–Cold War era; Paulauskas 2006 looks at the Baltic neighborhood. Herd and Moroney 2003 explores the degree to which “democratic security” has been established in central and eastern Europe. Huisman 2002 argues for a new EU policy toward Kaliningrad, while Gänzle, et al. 2009 raises questions as to whether Kaliningrad and Russia can adapt to Europeanization.

  • Clemens, Walter C. The Baltic Transformed: Complexity Theory and European Security. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2001.

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    Applies complexity theory to explain the post-Soviet transformation of the Baltic states and the relationship between European security and international relations; it analyzes whether Russia should be considered a threat or a partner and the role of NATO plus other options for Baltic state security.

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  • Galbreath, David J., Ainius Lasas, and Jeremy W. Lamoreaux, eds. Continuity and Change in the Baltic Sea Region: Comparing Foreign Policies. Amsterdam and New York: Editions Rodopi, 2008.

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    Examines key factors involved in the making of foreign policy in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania and discusses Baltic state cooperation and European integration as well as other external factors that help shape Baltic foreign policy agendas after NATO and EU enlargement.

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  • Gänzle, Stefan, Guido Müntel, and Evgeny Vinokurov, eds. Adapting to European Integration? Kaliningrad, Russia and the European Union (Europe in Change). Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, March 2009.

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    Raises questions as to whether Kaliningrad and Russia can adapt to Europeanization. Looks at Kaliningrad’s relations with Russia, as well as security and border issues, health, social identity, and environment, as each impacts on Kaliningrad’s relations with the EU.

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  • Herd, Graeme P., and Jennifer D. P. Moroney, eds. Security Dynamics in the Former Soviet Bloc. New York and London: Routledge, 2003.

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    Contributors focus on the Baltic Sea region, the Slavic republics, the Black Sea region, and central Asia to explore the degree to which “democratic security” has been established. Analyzes the interplay between NATO and the EU and uses case studies to show how interstate bilateral and multilateral relations are developing.

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  • Huisman, Sander. A New European Union Policy for Kaliningrad. Occasional Paper 33. Paris: European Union Institute for Security Studies, 2002.

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    Given that the oblast would be “surrounded” by EU members by 2004, the paper argues that the EU should consider creating a new common strategy for Kaliningrad.

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  • Paulauskas, Kestutis. The Baltics: From Nation States to Member States. Occasional Paper 62. Paris: European Union Institute for Security Studies, 2006.

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    Examines persisting tensions with respect to issues relating to the Russian minorities in Latvia and Estonia, transit to the Kaliningrad region, and Russian energy policy. It discusses regional cooperation frameworks and Baltic state attitudes toward the US/NATO, the European Union, and Russia.

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Central and Southeastern Europe

Balmaceda, et al. 2009 studies relations between Belarus and the EU; Gardner, et al. 2000 provides differing political, social, cultural, media, financial, economic, and security perspectives on central and southeastern Europe. Krupnick 2003 examines NATO relations with central and eastern European states prior to the second wave of NATO enlargement in 2004. Krejčí and Styan 2005 provides a long-term geohistorical background for conflict in central Europe. Lieven and Trenin 2003 (cited under General Overviews) critiques NATO and EU enlargement from the perspective of Western institutions as well as from the point of view of former Communist countries. Spero 2004 studies the development of Polish foreign policy in the region, while Wolchik and Curry 2011 (cited under General Overviews) provides a more general, up-to-date analysis of the social, political, and security transformations taking place throughout the region.

  • Balmaceda, Margarita M., Sabine Fischer, Grzegorz Gromadzki, et al. Back from the Cold? The EU and Belarus in 2009. Chaillot Paper 119. Paris: Institute for Security Studies, 2009.

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    Examines EU relations with Belarus, which has survived Western sanctions as well as a wave of “color revolutions” in its neighborhood in 2004 and 2005. Argues that although Belarus entered into the EU Eastern Partnership in 2009, the EU needs to either return to coercive diplomacy or continue on the path toward engagement and soft conditionality.

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  • Gardner, Hall, Elinore Schaffer, and Oleg Kobtzeff. Central and Southeastern Eastern Europe in Transition: Perspectives on Success and Failure since 1989. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2000.

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    Provides differing political, social, cultural, media, and economic perspectives on central and southeastern Europe, including drug trafficking and ecological damage caused by the Communist system. Discusses impact of western European and Russian attitudes toward the Balkans and the largely ignored role of the Ottoman Empire. Examines factors leading NATO to enlarge into central Europe and intervene in Bosnia and Kosovo.

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  • Krejčí, Oskar, and Martin C. Styan. Geopolitics of the Central European Region: The View from Prague and Bratislava. Bratislava, Slovakia: VEDA, 2005.

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    Provides long-term geohistorical background for conflict in central Europe. Argues that NATO enlargement did not provide a safer security environment for central Europe. Key to security in central Europe is Russian-German cooperation.

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  • Krupnick, Charles, ed. Almost NATO: Partners and Players in Central and Eastern European Security. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003.

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    Examines NATO relations with central and eastern European states; written prior to NATO’s second post–Cold War enlargement. Seeks to develop a broader concept of security that encompasses the EU, environmental concerns, minority issues, and economic and political performance.

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  • Spero, Joshua B. Bridging the European Divide: Middle Power Politics and Regional Security Dilemmas. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004.

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    Studies Polish foreign policy decisions, including the post–Cold War relationship with a unified Germany, the creation of links with Moscow, and relations with the emerging independent states (Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania), plus the promotion of security links in central Europe with Hungary and the Czech and Slovak Republics.

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Security in the Balkans

Rupnik 2011 and Emerson and Gross 2007 provide an introduction to the broader security role of the European Union in the southeastern and Balkan region. Caplan 2005 analyzes the role of European recognition of the secessionist states in ex-Yugoslavia. Hudson and Bowman 2011 examines the cultures, politics, and identities of the successor states to Yugoslavia. Independent International Commission on Kosovo 2000 details causes, consequences, and ramifications of the war over Kosovo, while Latawski and Smith 2003 challenges conventional viewpoints on the war “over” Kosovo, and its impact on European-Russian relations as a whole.

Turkey

Guney 2007 provides a general overview of Turkish foreign policy with respect to conflict, regional power relations, energy security, Greece, Cyprus, and the environment. Aktar, et al. 2010 studies the nature of competing nationalisms in Cyprus, Greece, and Turkey. Gozen 2003 looks at the Turkish relationship to NATO and the EU-oriented European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP). Eralp and Üstün 2009 analyzes Turkey’s relationship with the EU and the Black Sea region. Moustakis 2003 examines Greek and Turkish foreign, security, and defense policies in the post–Cold War period. Burwell 2008 provides an overview of the issues blocking positive Turkish–US–European Union relations, while Larrabee 2008 focuses on the troubled US-Turkish relationship. Torbakov 2008 looks at the impact of the 2008 Georgia-Russia war on Turkish relations with Russia. Albright and Hadley 2012 provides an up-to-date analysis of US-Turkish relations.

The Black Sea

Asmus, et al. 2004 and Cojocaru 2007 study the strategic realities of the Black Sea area after Soviet breakup and the growing importance of the Caspian Sea and Black Sea, as do Henderson and Weaver 2010, Volten and Tashev 2007, and Weihe 2007. Aybak 2001 examines the prospects for cooperation in the Black Sea region, while Pavliuk and Klympush-Tsintsadze 2004 and Manoli 2011 provide a more up-to-date analysis.

  • Asmus, Ronald D., Konstantin Dimitorv, and Joerg Forbrig, eds. A New Euro-Atlantic Strategy for the Black Sea Region. Washington, DC: German Marshall Fund of the United States, 2004.

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    Contributors discuss NATO, EU, and Russian relations toward the Black Sea and the “frozen conflicts” in the Caucasus (what has been called the “Bermuda Triangle of Western strategic studies”) from a Euro-Atlantic perspective.

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  • Aybak, Tunç. Politics of the Black Sea: Dynamics of Cooperation and Conflict. London: I. B. Tauris, 2001.

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    Examines the prospects for cooperation in the Black Sea region, which are linked with the exploitation of energy resources in the Caspian Sea, the Caucasus, and central Asia, as well as the heightened risk of ethnic conflict, territorial disputes, and instability.

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  • Cojocaru, Doru. Géopolitique de la mer Noire: Éléments d’approche. Paris: Editions L’Harmattan, 2007.

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    Studies the strategic realities of the Black Sea area after the Soviet breakup and the growing importance of the Caspian Sea and Black Sea for Europe after the 1990–1991 Iraq war.

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  • Henderson, Karen, and Carol Weaver, eds. The Black Sea Region and EU Policy: The Challenge of Divergent Agendas. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2010.

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    Contributors look at how the EU’s enlargement to Black Sea states has brought about new external policies, including the European Neighborhood Policy, Black Sea Synergy, and the Eastern Partnership. Issues such as US–Russian–Turkish relations, energy transit, and the South Caucasus are all discussed.

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  • Manoli, Panagiota. Black Sea Regionalism in Perspective. Istanbul: Center for International and European Studies, 2011.

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    Examines characteristics and dynamics of the cooperative processes that have emerged around the Black Sea region and recommends that the priority for the EU is to foster necessary facilitative preconditions (economic, social, and political) for cooperation.

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  • Pavliuk, Oleksandr, and Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze. The Black Sea Region: Cooperation and Security Building. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2004.

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    Examines the Black Sea as an area of unstable subregions of former Soviet republics and as a crossroads of European and Islamic civilizations, which permits the access of Eurasia to the Mediterranean and represents a major transit route for oil, gas, and illegal drugs.

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  • Volten, Peter M. E., and Blagovest Tashev, eds. Establishing Security and Stability in the Wider Black Sea Area: International Politics and the New and Emerging Democracies. Amsterdam and Washington, DC: IOS, 2007.

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    Examines regional conflicts, ethnic strife, terrorism, the influence of powerful organized crime, weak institutions, unstable economies, and lack of democracy all facing the Black Sea area and security ramifications of the dual 2004–2007 NATO-EU enlargements.

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  • Weihe, Thomas. The Black Sea between the EU and Russia: Security, Energy, Democracy. Hamburg, Germany: Körber-Stiftung, 2007.

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    Focuses on the Black Sea region in terms of security, energy, and democratic development. Debates the following questions: What is the nature of the relation between Russia, the United States, and NATO enlargement? What is the dimension and role of regional cooperation? What role should the EU play in the region?

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The Caucasus

Jafalian 2011 focuses on the South Caucasus. Asmus 2010, Astrov 2011, and the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Conflict in Georgia 2009 all analyze the causes and consequences of the August 2008 Georgia-Russia war. Nation 2007 and Nichol 2009 both look at the region from an American strategic perspective. Nixey 2012 argues that Russia’s hegemony over the region is waning and that Moscow will be unable to regain its influence through economic pressures and energy dependence; Ismailzade and Howard 2012 looks to the future in examining territorial conflicts, oil and natural gas resources, geopolitical complexities, and pipeline politics of the region.

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