Keeping Current on the BRI in the Black Sea: Small Ripples, but no Big Waves

Jean-Marc F. Blanchard
Publication Date: 
November 30th, 2020

This analysis examines the development of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in the Black Sea Littoral States (Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Turkey, Russia, and Ukraine), an energy rich and historically strategic region. It shows that, at present, anxieties about the BSLS becoming dependent on China are unwarranted because China’s political, military, economic, and other ties with most BSLS are limited in breadth and depth. In addition, significant manifestations of Chinese outward FDI (OFDI) and infrastructure in the Black Sea Region are sparse. Moreover, the obstacles slowing and presenting future challenges to the expansion of the BRI in the BSR are numerous and will not be going away any time soon. Aside from the above, the analysis provides a general overview of the BRI, especially maritime features such as seaports as well as other transportation infrastructure, and offers some recommendations for businesspeople and policymakers.

*A complimentary copy of the analysis is available at