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Black Sea - between Europe and Asia
Sea is situated at the intersection of South East Europe,
Western Asia and Southern Russia. It is with almost 420 000
square kilometers, slightly larger than Germany and almost
an inland sea. With the Mediterranean it is connected through
the Turkish straits Bosporus and Dardanelles.
as 17,000 years ago was the black sea, a freshwater lake.
When, towards the end of the last ice age about 11,000 years
ago increased the water level in the Mediterranean, some of
the water flowed through the Boporus in much deeper lake from.
The result was the black sea. Sometimes, a combination hand
between this spectacular event and made mentioned in the Bible
flood. Despite this influx of salt water, the Black Sea has
a low salt content, 12 to 16 grams per liter (compared with
36-39 grams per liter in the Mediterranean). The reason is,
inter alia, that several large rivers flow into the Black
results in a very special Ecological sytem and a particular
vulnerability: The Black Sea is highly polluted, by the effluents
of industrial cities that lie along the rivers and the important
waterway because of its geographical position. What does this
Black Sea is one way in the oil come from Russia and the Caucasus
to the Mediterranean and from there into the Atlantic.
map it is clear that the tanker must thus pass through the
Bosphorus, since 1936 an international strait, and lies on
both banks of the Turkish city of Istanbul. For several years,
the Bosporus is overloaded. In 2004, he went through 53 000
ships, including 10,000 tanker - an average of 130 vessels
per day. Therefore, Turkey took the measures to restrict the
traffic. Are nowadays the passage of supertankers of more
than 150,000 tons, is prohibited.
Sea is also an important energy transit corridor, and therefore
of strategic importance. This way, it has significance since
ancient times. The Greeks called it Pontos Euxenos, the hospitable
sea. They established several colonies on its banks to control
the grain trade and to secure the supply of Athens. Subsequently
ruled the Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire over the Black
Sea. Byzantium ruled almost 1000 years, the southern and the
changed in 1453 with the capture of Constantinople by the
Turks. From 18 Century began, Russia for the black sea to
care. Both Peter the Great and Catherine the Great tried the
Russian navy access to the warmer waters to give the South.
the end of the 18th century Russia led two wars against the
Ottoman Empire and took control of the north shore of the
Black Sea. They established the military port of Sebastopol
and the commercial port of Odessa.
the UK prevented Russia in Crimean War of 1853 - 1856 from
conquering the Turkish Straits. In the nearly 50 years of
the Cold War, the Black Sea belonged then to the front line
between the two power blocs. The USSR and its satellite states,
Romania and Bulgaria were directly opposed to Turkey, a NATO
What is the situation today? After the collapse of the Soviet
Union in 1991 changed the territorial conditions. Ukraine,
Moldova and Georgia became independent. Other states such
as Romania and Bulgaria, who had just heard fall of the Soviet
sphere of influence occurred in 2004 when NATO and the EU
U.S. is trying to push back Russian influence in the region.First,
they supported the 1997 establishment of the security alliance
of the GUAM countries Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova.
They also contributed to the foundations of revolutions in
Georgia in 2003 and 2004 in Ukraine. Were also allows the
U.S. to use military facilities in Bulgaria and Romania. This
was done as part of a military re-orientation, with which
the United States moved closer to the Caucasus and the Middle
the European Union for the region is beginning to interest
them, since Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU in January
2007. The countries bordering the Black Sea are affected by
the so-called European Neighbourhood Policy. The Black Sea
is becoming the third Sea, for which the EU is especially
interested. The European Union is more and more responsible
for a region in which the stability is threatened at several
points. In Brussels, believes the U.S. is not alone should
play the role of a protector. Because ultimately lead new
tensions with Russia, which feels itself exposed again to
a containment policy. We see and adjust the position of Russia.
it had to the Black Sea fleet, which is located in the port
of Sebastopol at anchor to share with Ukraine. After difficult
negotiations, agreed to the government in Kiev to lease the
naval base in 2017 to Russia. The rent amounts to € 100
million a year, and Ukraine will not renew the lease. Russia
would also stay there after 2017, even if it should cost more.
And the Crimea, which is indeed on Ukraine, whose population
but is two-thirds of Russians, is still disputed between the
Since August 2008 the broken Georgia-Russia war, the regional
constellation has changed again. For Moscow, now supports
the open independence of Georgian provinces South Ossetia
The small Abchazia has several benefits for Russia. It is
just a few miles from the city of Sochi away, to take place
in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. And on the abchazian coast
Russia could create a new naval base, in case the Russian
Black Sea Fleet should have to leave Sevastopol.