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The events of 2014 in Ukraine—the takeover of Crimea by Russia and the start of the internationalized civil war in the east of the country—have refocused attention on the problem of protracted conflicts in the territory of the former Soviet Union (the ‘post-Soviet space’). This paper provides background information on these conflicts, their current status and an analysis of how they influence the security dynamics around the Black Sea.
The protracted conflicts in the post-Soviet space have had a clear and profound impact on the Black Sea region’s security dynamics. First, they have led to an increase in military activities in the region. Second, the overlapping conflict-affected areas have generated a wide zone of instability stretching from Trans-Dniester, through eastern Ukraine and the Caucasus and into Turkey and the Middle East. Third, the conflicts are a significant obstacle to economic development in the breakaway regions themselves and their respective states.
II. Azerbaijan: Nagorno-Karabakh
III. Georgia: Abkhazia and South Ossetia
IV. Moldova: Trans-Dniester
V. Ukraine: Crimea and eastern Ukraine
VI. Conclusions: The evolution of the protracted conflicts in the post-Soviet space and their impact on Black Sea security