(WASHINGTON, DC) - Today, Congressman Mike Turner (OH-10), Vice President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and Co-Chair of the House Romania Caucus and Congressman Bill Keating (MA-09), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Energy, the Environment and Cyber and introduced the Black Sea Security Act of 2022.
The Black Sea region is of critical importance to both European and global security, as evident during Russia’s war against Ukraine. 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. Representatives Keating and Turner believe it is important for the U.S. to play both a more proactive role in the region, establishing a formal US strategy that bolsters security and encourages trade with the region.
Congressman Turner said, “The U.S. and our allies must maintain a strong presence in the Black Sea region to maintain and expand energy imports, digital infrastructure and economic development. Our goal is to deter malign attempts by Russia and China to control the region – a move that would threaten our security interests abroad. This legislation creates a roadmap for the U.S. and our allies to strengthen economic ties, counter our adversaries and defend democracy abroad.”
Congressman Keating said, “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. 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 EU and bolstering economic ties between the U.S. and the Black Sea region;
- 180 days following passage of legislation, requires 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.
The Black Sea Security Act of 2022 is the House companion of a bill introduced by Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Mitt Romney.