FT: EU to lay Black Sea internet cable, reducing dependence on Russia
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The European Union is planning to lay an undersea internet cable to improve connectivity with Georgia and reduce dependence on lines running through Russia, the Financial Times reported, citing the European commission’s policy document.

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Per the plan, the EUR 45 million cable will connect EU member states to the Caucasus via international waters in the Black Sea, stretching for 1,100 kilometres.

The project aims to reduce the region’s "dependency on terrestrial fibre-optic connectivity transiting via Russia", the policy document reads.

The EU and Georgia agreed to lay the Black Sea internet cable in 2021 to improve the latter’s digital connectivity. However, the war in Ukraine has added impetus to the project, given the need to avoid relying on "connections that are not secure or stable", a person with knowledge of the proposal told the Financial Times.

The timeline of the project is yet to be agreed.

British telecom operator Vodafone is also exploring the possibility of developing a cable route across the Black Sea, FT reported, citing two people briefed on the plan.

The project, called Kardessa, would connect Ukraine to Bulgaria, Turkey and Georgia and then continue under land to Armenia, Kazakhstan and onwards to Asia.