As a powerful littoral state with important security interests in the Black Sea, Russia has the ability to use the maritime domain to advance and protect its interests, which will affect regional and international security. Using the currently available literature, this essay examines the three factors that shape and affect Russia’s maritime power in the Black Sea: quantitative factors such as the number and capability of maritime platforms as well as access to maritime infrastructure; qualitative factors such as the morale of maritime personnel; and the strategic context in which Russia exercises its maritime power. It argues that Russian maritime power is likely to decline significantly. Not only will Russia have significantly fewer maritime platforms in the future, but its ability to use the maritime domain will be compromised by qualitative problems and poor relations with the United States and littoral states such as Georgia and Romania.

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