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Trading on the Black Sea

Insights into what the Black Sea looked like from a historical perspective

Following Russia’s troops moving into two regions in eastern Ukraine, the consequences of the region escalating into a full-blown war zone remains clear. For Europe, liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies will be disrupted with no other alternative. For the world at large, countries and companies are bracing for fresh sanctions against Russia by the United States and its allies. And for seafarers, while come companies have been skittish in sending vessels to the region, the safety risks for seafarers who are on ships still bound for ports in Ukraine are as high as ever.

Looking at the region from a historical perspective
The Black Sea region has always been a major factor in the flourishing of empires and countries in the region. It formed part of one of the world’s most famous trading routes, the great Silk Road that connected the East with the West. Trading on the Black Sea had prospered the Greek cities that were in the area, and so did the economies of the ancient empires.

At the height of the Ottoman Empire (16th century), the Turks dominated the Black Sea, including the Sea of Azov. Despite the Empire’s subsequent decline, the Black Sea region continued to flourish due to merchants trading around the area.

In a study of four cities in the region, it was found that cities in the region enjoyed economic success and trade until wars happened. When stability reigned, the region served its purpose as a trading hub, and thus economies grew. As history has shown, and as the world watches, the costs of an all-out war between Russia and Ukraine would be devastating for the region, traders around the world and seafarers.

Research Gate


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