- Attempts to foster closer economic cooperation among Black Sea countries has so far faltered
- This is because the EU, Russia and Turkey have contributed to instability
- Slow progress is likely, as the EU reengages, Russia backs off and Turkey enhances security
It is possible Churchill never said that “the Balkans produce more history than they can consume,” but the observation is nevertheless accurate. In fact, it is true even on a larger geographic scale: It applies to the entire Black Sea region. Though the area does not really challenge the Middle East’s leadership in this category, it has more than its fair share of conflicts and differences, in every imaginable area. Despite this diversity, it makes sense to view the region as a single whole. Each country understands (at least in its declarations) the potential advantages of economic cooperation. As can be seen most clearly in the case of Ukraine, relations between the region’s smaller countries and its two major powers (Russia and Turkey) can reverberate around the globe.