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Stoltenberg: NATO sees no indication of deliberate Russian attack against Romania

by Martin Fornusek September 7, 2023 12:51 PM 2 min read
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg speaks at a press conference ahead of the annual NATO Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Monday, July 10, 2023. (Photo credit: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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NATO sees no indication that the drone fragments found on Romanian soil were a result of a deliberate Russian attack against the Alliance member Romania, Reuters reported on Sept. 7, citing NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

"We don't have any information indicating an intentional attack by Russia, and we are awaiting the outcome of the ongoing investigation," the NATO chief told EU lawmakers.

Stoltenberg did stress that Russian strikes against Ukraine in close vicinity to the allies' borders pose risks to NATO.

"It demonstrates the risks of incidents and accidents... Regardless of that outcome (of the investigation), what we have seen of course is a lot of fighting and also air attacks close to NATO borders," Stoltenberg said.

Russian forces have repeatedly targeted Ukrainian ports on the Danube River, lying not far from the Romanian border, after Moscow's unilateral termination of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. Following a drone attack overnight on Sept. 4, Ukraine said that some of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) had fallen and detonated on Romanian soil.

Bucharest initially denied the report, only to change their statement on Sept. 6 when Romanian Defense Minister Angel Tilvar confirmed that what appears to be drone fragments had been found on Romania's side of the Danube River.

The Romanian government briefed its NATO allies on the incident on Sept. 6 during a meeting of the Alliance's envoys in Brussels.

"The Romanian authorities have confirmed that debris, possibly from a drone, has been found on Romanian soil, close to the border with Ukraine," NATO spokesperson Dylan White commented.

"Allies expressed strong solidarity with Romania," White said. "We continue to monitor the situation closely, and we remain in close contact with our ally Romania."

This is not the first incident of a Russian projectile crashing on NATO soil. In May, Polish authorities uncovered remnants of what was likely a Russian Kh-55 missile near the Polish town of Bydgoszcz.

Warsaw commented on the incident that the projectile was not aimed at Poland and likely ended up on Polish territory due to malfunction.

Romania plans to double transit capacity of Ukrainian grain
Romania plans to increase the transit capacity of Ukrainian grain from 2 million metric tons to 4 million every month, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Sorin Grindeanu said on Aug. 11, the Romanian news agency Agerpres reported.
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