CEPA Salon at the Embassy of Romania
Challenges for Securing the Black Sea: 
One Flank, One Presence?

The CEPA Salon was held in cooperation with the Embassy of Romania in Washington, DC on Thursday, February 20. This Salon featured insights from Ambassadors from the Black Sea region: H.E. George Maior of Romania, H.E. David Bakradze of Georgia, Chargé D'affaires Carolina Perebinos of Moldova, H.E. Tihomir Stoytchev of Bulgaria, H.E. Volodymyr Yelchenko of Ukraine, and CEPA's LTG (Ret.) Ben Hodges, Pershing Chair in Strategic Studies. The conversation was moderated by CEPA Executive Vice President Réka Szemerkényi


Given its geographic location and current security dynamics, the Black Sea region is one of the most vital areas for the transatlantic alliance to ensure collective security. The ongoing war in Ukraine, the frozen conflicts in the region, the militarization of littoral space, and aggressive actions from actors such as Russia threaten the stability of the region. All allies and partners from the region have a vested interest in working together to strengthen deterrence and defense in the Black Sea as an integral part of NATO’s Eastern Flank. At the CEPA "Super" Salon, Ambassadors from allied and partner countries bordering the Black Sea provided their priorities for increasing security in the region. CEPA's LTG (Ret.) Ben Hodges provided a broader strategic perspective about the next steps in building a comprehensive strategy for improving regional deterrence and defense. 

Each month, the CEPA Salon visits a different European Embassy. These salon-styled discussions offer an opportunity to learn about Europe’s perspectives and challenges through the lens of U.S. legislative and foreign policy priorities. During these informal evening sessions, participants have the chance to exchange views and network with leading experts and diplomats. 

LTG (Ret.) Ben Hodges

Réka Szemerkényi

20 February 2020

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