Black Sea Security: Romania and Ukraine answering the Russian challenge

Romania shares 613.8 km of border with Ukraine and, as one of its neighbors, has been directly impacted by the large-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. It welcomed more than 3 million Ukrainian refugees, and while many of them have moved forward, it was still a challenge for the Romanian border and security that handled it gracefully. By attacking Ukraine, Russia has threatened Romania as well – a state with access to the Black Sea and one of the important actors shaping the regional security, it had concerns since annexation of Crimea in 2014. Now, with Russian aim to fully control the Black Sea, these concerns have escalated.

Bucharest officially supports Ukraine on all diplomatic fronts and is a strong supporter of the European and Euroatlantic integration for Kyiv. And it is not just diplomacy – Romania supplies Ukraine with ammunition as well as medical supplies, fuel and humanitarian aid. At the same time it tries to assist the pro-European government in neighboring Moldova. Moldova, another country that shares border with Ukraine, has an important security concern of its own. The Kremlin’s puppet republic of Transnistria is a home to the largest ammunition depot in Eastern Europe and a potential security hazard in addition to the hybrid influence operations carried out by Moscow against Chisinau, where tensions flared before May 9, 2022.

Security of Ukrainian Odesa region is of crucial importance both to Romania and Moldova. Bucharest has taken steps to increase local security – with the Kremlin having little leverage. Russian diaspora and a number of its pro-Russian members in Romania is low and has no substantial influence. While Moscow targets Bucharest with disinformation as it does with other nations, the threat has been manageable so far. Ukraine In Flames #183 explores how Russian aggression has impacted Romania and what is the historical context behind the perception of Moscow here.


  • Iulian Chifu, State Counselor of the Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs, Security and Strategic Affairs, Romania 
  • Rufin Zamfir, Programme Director at GlobalFocus, Romania

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