Did Russian drones hit Romania’s Danube ports?

In this photo provided by the Odesa Regional Administration Press Office, a granary destroyed in a Russian drone attack at night is seen in a Danube port near Odesa, Ukraine, early Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023. (Odesa Regional Administration Press Office via AP)
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

The foreign ministers of Ukraine and Romania are at odds over reports that Russian drones may have targeted Romania’s Danube ports.

Ukraine claims that Russian drones landed on Romanian territory during a series of strikes on a neighboring Ukrainian town, the BBC reported.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told reporters after a press conference in Kyiv that Ukraine had photographic evidence to back up its claim.

However, Romania has rejected Kyiv’s version, and the BBC says it cannot authenticate the photo.

Russia has been attacking Ukraine’s Danube port facilities for more than a month, trying to prevent Ukraine from using the river to export grain. As most ships are not allowed to use Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, Moscow appears to want to prevent Kyiv from developing viable alternative routes.

Sunday night’s attacks on the port of Izmail came just a day after Russian drones struck the nearby port of Reni. Since the latest attack, a war of words has developed between Ukraine and the Bucharest government, which says it did not happen.

“Of course, there is a risk of accidents or incidents, but that has not been the case so far,” Romanian Foreign Minister Luminita Odobescu said on Monday in Germany. Kuleba, sounding angry, said it was “quite obvious what happened.”

He suggested that some of Ukraine’s partners had in fact turned a blind eye to avoid getting involved in the conflict.

If a Russian drone did indeed land on Romanian territory without resulting in an interception, it would be the first time Russia had directly, even if accidentally, struck a NATO member state.

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