After much foot-dragging, the European Commission proposed a cap on the price it will pay for natural gas yesterday. Fifteen of the union’s members had proposed such a cap to limit Russian energy revenues due to spiking gas prices since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, but a group of members led by Germany are opposed to it.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, two successive waves of Russian “war refugees” have descended upon countries in Central Asia and the Southern Caucasus. The response from the receiving countries to date has been mixed, ranging from a welcoming attitude to downright hostility, in part due to the economic impact of the new arrivals.
The strategic and economic importance of the Black Sea region has made it the center of conflict for centuries, and several factors make it unlikely that it will suddenly find stability when the war in Ukraine ends. As a result, the EU and U.S. should be developing contingency plans to ensure stability in the Black Sea region now.