Ukraine Says Russian Drones Hit NATO Territory

Ukraine reported on Monday that during an overnight air assault on a Ukrainian port along the Danube River, Russian drones exploded within Romania’s borders, a NATO member country. However, Romania refuted claims of any such incident on its territory.

The authenticity of these claims remains unconfirmed by Reuters.

Russia has been executing distant air raids on Ukrainian objectives since the onset of the invasion last year. Moscow intensified these attacks on Ukrainian ports neighboring Romania on the Danube River after it reneged on an agreement in July, which had ended a Russian blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea harbors.

The latest air raid by Russia was conducted shortly before a scheduled discussion between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan regarding the resumption of the Black Sea agreement.

Ukrainian foreign ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko, citing the national border guard service, stated, “During a large-scale Russian offensive near the Izmail port, Russian ‘Shakheds’ [Iranian-made drones] crashed and exploded on Romanian territory.”

He highlighted the risks of Russian aggression on Facebook, “This is another testament to the immense threat Russia’s missile actions pose, impacting not just Ukraine but also neighboring countries, including NATO members.”

Nikolenko shared an image that showed the aftermath of a blast, but Reuters hasn’t yet confirmed the source of this image.

Romania’s Defense Ministry rejected these claims, asserting no such incident occurred within its borders.

NATO operates under a mutual defense principle: an attack on one member is perceived as an attack on all.

Ukrainian legislator Oksana Savchuk theorized on Ukrainian TV that Romania’s denial might be a NATO strategy to avoid outright conflict with Russia.

Local authorities in Kyiv noted that this attack destroyed Ukrainian storage facilities and ignited several structures, coinciding with Erdogan’s visit with Putin in Sochi. A NATO member, Turkey initiated the Black Sea grain export agreement, and Erdogan anticipates persuading Putin to recommence the pact.

After Russia’s withdrawal from the pact in July, which had ensured Ukraine’s secure food export via the Black Sea amidst the war, the Danube has evolved into an essential export pathway for Ukraine’s grain, drawing frequent Russian air strikes.

On Monday, early reports from the Ukrainian border patrol indicated two drones landing on Romanian territory close to the Izmail port in Ukraine, as the Interfax Ukraine news agency mentioned.

This information was reportedly conveyed to Romanian officials, yet there has been no response.
Andriy Yermak, the chief of staff for the Ukrainian president, emphasized the urgency of bolstering air defense and long-range weaponry to counteract Russia’s drone and missile capabilities over Ukraine.

Yermak communicated on Telegram, advocating for “more arms and extended-range missiles for Ukraine to expedite the liberation of our regions. Russia needs to be thwarted militarily.”