Danubius International Conferences, 10th International Conference The Danube - Axis of European Identity

Snake Island - History and Current Affairs

Constantin Tanase
Last modified: 2020-06-18


After the conclusion of the Treaty of Paris in March 30, 1856, which ended the Crimean War, an important episode of the "Eastern Crisis”, the British Empire's envoy to Pontus Euxinus, Thomas Spratt, noted in his report to the British Crown and Admiralty that “The Snake Island is remarkable from several points of view: first by its position, we can say the Eye of the Danube; and secondly because it is almost the only island in the Black Sea.” According to the British, the island was important for directing and accommodating ships in bad weather, in an area with shallow depths and shallow shores where the risk of failure posed a real threat. The author of the report also finally points out the importance of the island for Odessa's trade. The historical facts and events, however, revealed another side of the island's importance, namely the geostrategic one, which is why the discussions on this aspect are under the sign of “diplomatic tact.” In this paper we will try to objectively reveal some historical and current aspects regarding the Island of Snakes.