Romania is taking defensive measures along its border with Ukraine in response to recent Russian attacks on river ports in the region, according to two senior defense sources cited by Reuters. The Romanian government is establishing new military observation posts and is redeploying anti-aircraft systems along the Danube River, which forms part of the country’s border with Ukraine.
In recent weeks, there has been an increase in Russian strikes on Ukrainian river port infrastructure and fuel depots. Bucharest has reported that debris, potentially from a Russian drone, fell on Romanian territory during these attacks. The incident has caused tension between Ukraine and Russia, with Ukraine suggesting that the drone “exploded” over Romanian territory, implying that it was a deliberate Russian attack on a NATO member.
NATO, however, has sought to downplay the incident, with Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stating that there is no information indicating an intentional attack by Russia. The bloc is awaiting the outcome of the ongoing investigation.
In response to the increased threat, the Romanian military announced in mid-September that it was prepared to shoot down Russian aircraft if they posed a direct threat to Romanian territory. General Gheorghita Vlad, the deputy chief of Romania’s general staff, stated that the country would use all its military power to defend its territory, with the exact response depending on the level of threat. As of now, no incidents of this nature have been reported.
The increase in Russian attacks on Ukraine’s southwest, particularly on port infrastructure in Odessa, is believed to be a response to Ukraine’s withdrawal from the Black Sea grain deal in mid-July. Moscow has repeatedly targeted port infrastructure in Odessa, which is Ukraine’s main sea hub, as well as river ports such as Izmail and Reni, both located across the Danube River from Romanian soil.
Romania’s decision to bolster its defense capabilities and enhance its military presence along the Ukrainian border reflects growing concerns about the escalating conflict between Ukraine and Russia. The ongoing tensions in the region have prompted NATO to increase its military presence and coordination with its allies in Eastern Europe.
This development underscores the complex and volatile situation in Eastern Europe, as countries like Romania seek to protect their borders and maintain regional stability amid heightened Russian aggression. The international community continues to monitor the situation closely and work towards a peaceful resolution to the conflict.