This article provides comprehensive research on sub-regional cooperation between former Soviet Union countries in the Black Sea region. Established in 1997, the Organisation for Democracy and Economic Development in Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova (ODED-GUAM), united four countries in their desire to proceed with sub-regional cooperation and the ambitious goal of challenging the traditional power distribution in the region. In the first part of this article I discuss the rationale for a new sub-regional organisation and the stages of its development. From the very beginning, the ODED-GUAM prioritised democratic and economic development, where security was a secondary factor. With Russia regaining economic might and strengthening control over the region, the security challenges become a major factor of instability for all members of ODED-GUAM. Starting with Nagorno-Karabakh and Transnistria conflicts in early nineties, continuing with the Georgian War in 2008 and climaxing with Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014, the region is experiencing long lasting instability with a growing number of "frozen" and ongoing conflicts.

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Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies

Nikolko, M. (2019). The annexation of crimea and continuing instability in the Black Sea Region: Dynamics of regional security and new challenges for the Organisation for Democracy and Economic Development (GUAM). Shima, 13(1), 27–43. doi:10.21463/shima.13.1.05