Bulgaria Needs a Stronger Voice in Black Sea Security

Can smaller states such as Bulgaria have a stronger voice within NATO? Find out in the article by Asya Metodieva on Russia's militarisation of the Black Sea and its impact on Bulgaria's security.

Russia’s militarization of the Black Sea, its occupation of Crimea, and then its full invasion of Ukraine have left the region vulnerable. NATO has never had an effective strategy for the Black Sea, which contains various diverse actors, including three alliance members. Bulgaria, Romania, and Türkiye have increased their defense spending substantially in recent years, but Bulgaria, in particular, still relies excessively on NATO security guarantees to deter Russia’s aggression in the region. How do these dynamics impact Bulgaria’s role in Black Sea security? Do the complex relationships among the region’s actors lead to less security? Can smaller states, such as Bulgaria, have a stronger voice within NATO? Is a Black Sea security strategy desirable for the alliance?