WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mike Turner (OH-10) and Congressman Bill Keating (MA-09), Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, are introducing the Black Sea Security Act of 2023. This legislation is the House companion of a bill introduced today by Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Mitt Romney.

 The Black Sea region is of critical importance to both European and global security as evidenced by Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine and its 2008 invasion of Georgia. Ukraine, Romania, Georgia, Bulgaria, and Turkey are strategic partners in the region and are vital for U.S. security interests. The region also has economic importance as a transportation nexus for many goods, including grain exports from Ukraine and energy products from the Caspian Sea. Congressmen Turner and Keating believe it is important for the U.S. to play a more proactive role in the region, establishing a formal U.S. strategy that bolsters security and encourages trade with the region. 

 “The United States will not sit idly by and let autocrats like Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping gain control of the Black Sea. I am proud to partner with Congressman Keating and introduce this bipartisan, bicameral legislation, which strengthens the United States and our allies’ presence in the Black Sea region by expanding energy imports, digital infrastructure, and economic development. When the United States leads, the world follows. The Black Sea Security Act is the roadmap we need to counter our adversaries and defend democracy abroad,” said Chairman Mike Turner. 

 “The Departments of State and Defense have been working for years developing a U.S. strategy for how we can best bolster security and stability in the region and yesterday’s events is a prime example of the importance of the Black Sea to U.S. national security,” said Ranking Member Keating. “This legislation formalizes those efforts and provides greater certainty for our partners in the region going forward. Strong Black Sea partners serve as a buffer against further Russian aggression and protect vital market access to the rest of the world.”

 Specifically, this legislation: 

  • Calls for a more robust foreign policy toward the Black Sea region, including increased advocacy between U.S., NATO, and the EU and bolstering economic ties between the U.S. and the Black Sea region; 
  • Requires – within 180 days following passage of legislation – an interagency strategy to increase military assistance and coordination with NATO and the EU, deepen economic ties, strengthen democracy and economic security, and enhance security assistance with Black Sea countries.

 Chairman Turner is the head of the U.S. Delegation of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and Co-Chair of the House Romania Caucus.