U.S. President Donald Trump refers to amounts of temperature change as he announces his decision that the United States will withdraw from the landmark Paris Climate Agreement, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

THE BLACK Sea Security Program
of Harvard University was founded
in 2001. The goal of the program
was to promote the region’s security
system based on cooperation and
integration. The program includes
military experts and political
scientists from the United States,
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria,
Georgia, Greece, Kazakhstan,
Moldova, Romania, Turkey and
Ukraine.
During the round tables, which
include scientific and practical
seminars and conferences,
participants discuss such pressing
issues as energy and transport
security, NATO’s activities in the
region, antiterrorist cooperation,
combating drug trafficking,
humanitarian and social problems.
The Black Sea-Caspian region
became a special interest for the
United States in the late 1990s. The
motive of the National Security
Council is to use the programme to
establish Washington’s control over
this region.
The attraction is the huge reserve
of hydrocarbons, mainly oil. The
calculation is that it would serve as an
alternative source to the Persian Gulf
and route of importance. In addition,
American experts believed that the
spread of their country’s influence in
this region of the globe would help
to weaken the positions of the main
geopolitical competitors of the United
States. Of recent, the region airspace
has become of more importance. It
has become the “air bridge” that the
United States desperately needs to
supply its units in Iraq, as well as
military bases in Central Asia.
It explains why the White House
quickly developed and adopted a
number of programs aimed at forming
special relations with the political elites
of the Black Sea-Caspian countries.
Of course, the main element of
establishing control was the expansion
of NATO. The Black Sea countries
such as Bulgaria and Romania became
members of the alliance. In addition,
the Partnership for Peace and Caspian
Watch programs were developed,
for the purpose of building military,
technical and institutional cooperation
with the former Warsaw Pact countries
and post-Soviet republics that are not
members of the bloc using NATO.
At various times, Washington made
attempts to deploy its military bases
in Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and
Ukraine. Military information center
and joint communication center were
established in Georgia. Until recently,
US military contingents were stationed
in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. US
Naval ships periodically appear in the
waters of the Black Sea.
Using the Security for the Black Sea
programme, Washington ensures
interaction between representatives
of special intelligence services
and defense departments of the
participating countries. By acting as
coordinator of the programme, the US
is able to monitor the activities of the
security agency of other states.
In general, the US influence on
the Black Sea-Caspian states has
destructive consequences for these
countries themselves. The desire of
the United States to atomize and
reformat the region, blurring borders
and subordinating national interests
globally to neo-liberal ideal leads
to the emergence of ethno-political
conflicts and migration. Former and
current military strategic projects of the
Washington establishment, including
the Greater Middle East, Greater
Central Asia, and Greater Europe
are the root causes of socio-economic
cataclysms and bloody conflicts in
Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Syria
and Yemen.
The Black Sea region is no exception.
Ethnic conflicts in Georgia, atrocities
in Ukraine, poverty in Bulgaria are a
natural consequence of the Americans
spreading their programs within
the framework of so-called peace
building. One can make a conjecture
that Harvard University’s Black sea
security program is another soft power
tool being used by Washington to
influence the states of the region in
America’s interest. If not, what is the
interest the same time, overseas of the
Black Sea countries themselves. There
are sufficient numbers of economic,
trade and military integration bodies
in the region.
One such is the Black Sea Economic
Cooperation Organization, which
was established in June 1992. It is a 12
member state body of the Black Sea
and the Southern Balkans, including
Russia. BSECO seeks to maintain a
high level of trade and economic
cooperation between countries, as
well as to promote the development
of medium and small businesses. At
the same time, the organization’s
statutory bodies do not interfere in
the internal political processes of
the participating states, recognizing
the right to choose their own
development path.
In addition, the Black Sea states
should consider the possibility
of joining such integration
unions as Shanghai Cooperation
Organization, Eurasian Economic
Union, Collective Security Treaty
Organization. The specificity of the
activities of these organizations
implies a multi-speed and multivector
participation format, in which
countries concentrate on intensive
interaction at existing points of
contact, but do not encroach upon
each other’s independence. This is
different from the American variant
of regional integration, in which its
participants lose a significant part of
their sovereign powers and largely
deprived of the opportunity to
pursue an independent policy.
A striking example of this is the
refusal of the Bulgarian government
under pressure from Washington
and Brussels to implement the
international project of the South
Stream gas pipeline. It was to be laid
on the Black Sea ground from Anapa
district of Russia to the Bulgaria. The
two lines of gas pipeline were to pass
through the Balkan Peninsula to Italy
and Austria. Bulgaria was to make
an annual income of more than 400
million euros including preferential
terms for the supply of gas. Bulgaria
could increase its role in of the EU,
becoming an important point in
the supply of energy resources, but
this did not happen. The ordinary
citizens that would have benefited
immensely from this project became
the victims of geo-politics.
This is why people of the Great
Black Sea Region need to rethink
the US-led integration project. The
change of power in Georgia, Moldova
and Bulgaria tends to suggest that
adherents of the project are beginning
to see the handwriting on the wall.
They are beginning to understand the
difference between the declaratory
promises of the White House and
the real state of affairs. May be, the
current leaders of these states do
not want to be obedient puppets of
Washington. They want to pursue a
nationally oriented and sovereign
policy, developing relations with all
countries on a mutually beneficial
and equal basis

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