6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

Energy Security in the Black Sea Region

The Global Europe Program recently hosted Martin Tsanov, an energy expert at the Center for the Study of Democracy in Bulgaria, who presented the most recent outlook on main energy security risks for Bulgaria and countries in the Black Sea region as based on the cutting-edge International Index of Energy Security Risks developed by the Institute for 21st Century Energy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Import dependence, short-sighted policy making and systematic state-capture deficiencies in energy sector governance lead to significant loss of national wealth and geopolitical weight for the countries in the Black Sea region. Managing security risks in the region is complex and requires understanding of national and regional specificities and the position of the countries as per common EU energy policies and vis-à-vis Russia. The discussion addressed questions such as: What traps Black Sea countries in a self-perpetuating cycle of energy dependence and energy poverty? What is the role of Russia and the EU? How could the U.S. be instrumental in addressing some of the main energy security deficiencies in countries in the Black Sea region?

Martin Tsanov is an Analyst at the Economic Program of the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD). Mr. Tsanov is part of CSD’s energy research and consultancy team, with specific expertise in policy and socioeconomic impact analysis of energy infrastructure projects, financial governance of state-owned energy enterprises, and energy sector public procurement management. Prior to joining CSD, Mr. Tsanov worked as a Research Analyst at Grisons Peak LLP in London (investment bank) and Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington D.C. Mr. Tsanov holds a Master of Science degree in European Political Economy from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Whittier College in California, US.

This discussion is part of the Wilson Center's Alexandros Petersen Lecture Series on European Energy Security.

The Alexandros Petersen Lecture Series, established by the Wilson Center’s Global Europe Program, honors the life and legacy of leading energy expert Alex Petersen, who lost his life in a terrorist attack in Kabul earlier this year. Dr. Petersen worked in close collaboration with the Global Europe Program for a number of years, founded and served as an advisor to the Center’s European Energy Security Initiative.

A scholar of grand strategy and energy geopolitics, Dr. Alexandros Petersen had a decade's experience conducting research across Europe and Eurasia and was an accomplished writer, scholar and advisor to governments and private organizations. Dr. Petersen was the author of the book, The World Island: Eurasian Geopolitics and the Fate of the West, and co-founded a blog on China in Central Asia, also the title of a book he had near completed.


  • Martin Tsanov

    Analyst, Economic Program, Center for the Study of Democracy, Sofia, Bulgaria