Recent trends in the Black Sea region including: Ukraine’s revolution, the impending start of Turkish-EU accession talks and changing policies among both local Caucasian governments and the major powers and security organizations, all suggest possibilities for launching a renewed, concerted, and multilateral initiative for the resolution of long standing disputes in the area. This essay suggests conditions necessary for beginning such an initiative and proposes that there might be ways to leverage these developments to secure their acceptance by Russia. Nevertheless, even if Russia refuses to join this process, the West, should take advantage of these opportunities anyway. Such initiatives must be holistic in nature and present solutions for dealing with the established “war economy” of the region. The initiative should aim at both conflict resolution and democratization of the area which entails putting all military organizations under effective and legitimate democratic control.
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