Ukraine Calls for Black Sea to Become a ‘Sea of NATO’

Ukraine's FM says NATO Black Sea countries should integrate their missile defense systems with Kyiv

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba is calling on NATO to expand its military activity in the Black Sea, urging the alliance to transform the waters into a “sea of NATO.”

“The Black Sea is instrumental for making the whole of Europe peaceful and future-oriented,” Kuleba told a Black Sea security conference in Bucharest via video link. “Sadly, it is also a showcase of how rapidly things can deteriorate if one neglects threats. It’s time to turn the Black Sea into what the Baltic Sea has become, a sea of NATO.”

The Black Sea has become a potential flashpoint for a conflict between Russia and NATO, which was demonstrated by the downing of a US MQ-9 Reaper drone after it encountered Russian fighter jets over the waters in March.

In the years leading up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the US and NATO steadily increased their military activity in the Black Sea. Tensions came to a head in June 2021 when a British warship sailed about 12 nautical miles off the coast of Crimea that was revealed to be an intentional provocation to draw a Russian reaction.

NATO members Turkey, Romania, and Bulgaria have Black Sea coasts. Kuleba said all NATO members in both the Black and Baltic Seas should integrate their air and missile defense systems with Ukraine.

Over in Moscow, the Kremlin brushed off the idea of the Black Sea becoming a NATO sea. “The Black Sea will never be a ‘NATO sea,’ this is a common sea,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. “Moreover, this must be indivisible security.”

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.