Dealing With the Russian Lake Next Door: Romania and Black Sea Security

War On The Rocks – The Black Sea is a body of many monikers: NATO euphemistically calls the sea an area of “strategic importance,” former Romanian President Traian Băsescu famously dubbed it “a Russian lake” in 2005 and the Russians, in response, labeled the body “a NATO lake.” While traditionally Romania has considered the Black Sea “its best neighbor,” these labels reflect today’s heightened threat perceptions in the region. Yet ultimately none of these nicknames, laden with geostrategic significance though they are, show the reality.