Kyiv today said Iranian-made Russian drones fell and detonated on Romanian territory during an overnight strike on the Ukrainian port of Izmail, a claim that NATO member Romania denied.
‘According to the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, Russian ‘Shaheds’ fell and detonated on Romanian territory overnight,’ Ukrainian foreign ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said on social media, referring to Iranian-made drones.
He said the incident took place during a massive Russian attack near Izmail, located on the Danube river, across from Romania.
Nikolenko added: ‘This is yet another confirmation that Russia’s missile terror poses a huge threat not just to Ukraine’s security, but also to the security of neighbouring countries, including NATO member states.’
The spokesman shared an image of what appeared to be flames of an explosion near a body of water. It was not immediately possible to verify the image.
But the Romanian Defence Ministry said it ‘categorically denied’ that Russian drones fell on its territory during the strike.
Oleg Nikolenko shared an image of what appeared to be flames of an explosion near a body of water. He claimed Iranian-made Russian drones fell and detonated on Romanian territory during an overnight strike on the Ukrainian port of Izmail – a claim Romania denied
Nikolenko said the incident took place during a massive Russian attack near Izmail, located on the Danube river, across from Romania
‘At no time did the means of attack used by the Russian Federation pose a direct military threat to Romania’s national territory or territorial waters,’ it said.
However, a spokesman for the State Border Guard Service told AFP that Nikolenko’s account was ‘reliable’ and that two detonations had been observed.
‘We recorded two detonations on the territory of Romania near the Izmail port during the Russian attack overnight,’ Andriy Demchenko said.
Meanwhile, Daniela Tanase, whose house in the Romanian village of Plauru overlooks Ukraine’s Izmail port across the river, said she was not aware of explosions on the Romanian bank but could not say for certain.
‘We heard the drones, the booms and the air defence systems across the river,’ she told Reuters by telephone. ‘We saw a light in the distance from our window, it was raining last night.’
NATO has a collective defence commitment under which the military alliance considers an attack on one ally to be an attack on all allies.
Ukrainian lawmaker Oksana Savchuk told Ukrainian television that she believed the Romanian denial could be part of an effort by NATO to prevent a slide into a direct war with Russia.
Following its withdrawal from an agreement in July allowing the export of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea, Moscow has pounded ports in Ukraine’s south including Izmail.
While most fighting during Russia’s invasion has taken place within Ukraine’s borders, Kyiv has occasionally claimed the conflict has spilled over into European countries, claims that its NATO allies have largely dismissed.
In March 2022 a Soviet-made Tupolev drone crashed into the Croatian capital Zagreb causing no injuries, and in November a missile landed on a Polish village near the Ukrainian border, killing two people.
Ukraine suggested Russia was behind both incidents but in both case its Western allies dismissed this, suggesting instead that they were of Ukrainian origin and had fallen there accidentally.
Officials in Kyiv said Monday’s attack damaged Ukrainian warehouses and set buildings ablaze, hours before Erdogan met Putin in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) during their talks in Sochi, Russia, on Monday
Turkey, also a NATO member, has sponsored the Black Sea grain export deal and Erdogan has said he expects to persuade Putin to rejoin it.
Russia quit the deal in July that had allowed Ukraine to safely export food via the Black Sea during the war. The Danube has since become a vital export corridor for Ukrainian grain, and Russia has targeted the route with regular air strikes.
In the early hours of Monday, the Ukrainian border guard service said two drones had hit Romanian soil near Ukraine’s Izmail port, the Interfax Ukraine news agency reported.
It said it had relayed the information to its Romanian counterparts, but received no reply.
The Ukrainian president’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, said the incident showed the need to increase supplies of modern air defence and long-range weapons to deprive Russia of the ability to launch drones and missiles as Ukraine.
‘Additional weapons and long-range missiles for Ukraine – to speed up the de-occupation of our territories. Russia must be defeated on the battlefield,’ Yermak wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
I am Rakesh Sharma, I associated with Elite News as an Editor, since 2021. I take care of all the news operations like content, budget, hiring and policy making.