Romania detects possible airspace breach during Russian drone attack on Ukraine

Bucharest has been accused of not reacting fast enough to such reports in the past

Romanian fishermen in Plauru, across the Danube from Izmail. Russia has been attacking Ukrainian ports over the river from Romania. Reuters
Powered by automated translation

Romania detected a possible breach of its airspace during an overnight Russian drone attack against neighbouring Ukraine's civilian infrastructure, its defence ministry said on Saturday.

After pulling out of a Black Sea grain deal in mid-July, Russia began attacking Ukrainian ports and warehouses across the Danube river from Nato member Romania, Kyiv's main alternative export route.

Fragments of possible Russian drones were found on Romanian territory on three occasions this month, underlying the security risks for Nato whose members have a mutual defence commitment.

“The Romanian Army's radar surveillance system identified a possible unauthorised breach of national air space, with a signal detected on the route to the town of Galati,” the defence ministry said, adding that search parties had been deployed.

“Up until now there have been no fallen objects identified on national territory. Searches will continue today.”

Phone alerts were sent to residents in Tulcea and Galati counties when swarms of drones were detected heading to Ukraine near the Romanian border.

Alerting the population to take cover is one of several measures Romania has taken to bolster defences since drone fragments were found on its territory, alongside increased patrols and observation points, as well as expanding a no-fly zone along a section of the border with Ukraine.

Nato and Romanian officials have said there was no evidence that Russian strikes near the border were a deliberate attack on Romania, but called the strikes reckless and destabilising.

Bucharest has been previously accused of not reacting fast enough to reports of fallen debris from Russian drones at the border.

Speaking from Brussels, Romanian MEP Vlad Gheorghe told The National earlier this month: “We want to see troops there. We want to hear the plans of Nato and Romanian authorities – what are they doing against those drones?”

Updated: September 30, 2023, 10:28 AM