In November, as part of PSSI's Economic and Financial Threat Program, a closed-door roundtable was held on Russia's oil-and gas-driven militarization of Crimea and the Black Sea, which featured NATO officials and Ukrainian energy experts among the speakers. Since July, Russia has been moving expropriated Ukrainian drill rigs that are presently the most technologically advanced in the region (namely, "Petro Hodovanets" and "Ukraine") and other energy infrastructure under armed guard into Crimean waters (now claimed by Russia), a Ukrainian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) extending out 370 kilometers into the Black Sea.
For this purpose, Maksym Bugriy, Research Fellow at the Razumkov Centre (Ukraine) and non-resident analyst with the Jamestown Foundation in Washington D.C., wrote a piece titled Russia's Rationale for Expropriation of Ukrainian Black Sea Gas Resources, in which he interprets the role of the Black gas fields as an important strategic objective in planning the annexation of Crimea. He also considers the "profiteering" logic behind this move and delves into potential consequences. It is concluded that in the foreseeable future Moscow is likely to exert considerable pressure to littoral and regional states, as well as exploit the increasingly fractured transatlantic partnership, which can lead to attracting investment partners, and thus critically important technology.