It didn’t take long for Romania to change its tune.
Romania publicly denied Ukraine’s claim that Russian military weapons struck the country during the latest drone barrage on the Danube port of Izmail earlier this week, but then on Saturday said new fragments from an apparent Russian drone landed in the territory.
“The identification by Romanian authorities on Romanian territory near the border with Ukraine of new drone fragments … indicates an unacceptable breach occurred of the air space of Romania, a NATO state, with real risks to the security of Romanian citizens in the area,” Klaus Iohannis, the Romanian president, said, according to Reuters. “I firmly condemn this incident caused by Russian attacks on Ukrainian Danube river ports.”
Earlier last week, the Romanian Defense Ministry “categorically denied” Ukraine’s claim that Russian drones have “fallen in Romania’s national territory,” Reuters reported. “At no time did Russia’s means of attack generate direct military threats on Romanian national territory or waters.”
The response came after Ukraine’s foreign ministry, citing the country’s border guard service, said “Russian ‘Shakheds’ fell and detonated on the territory of Romania.”
The BBC noted that if a Russian drone did, in fact, hit Romania, it would be the first time “Russia has directly, if accidentally, hit a NATO member state.” Russian strikes on Ukraine occurred at the time about 800 meters from Romania.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called the development “destabilizing” but said there is no evidence that Moscow intentionally targeted Romania. The U.S. said it will send additional F-16s to the region for additional air support.
TRENDPOST: President Joe Biden has said the Alliance would defend every inch of NATO territory from Russian aggression.
Ukraine has tried in the past to pull NATO into the conflict after a missile hit Polish territory that was immediately blamed on Russia. The claim was proven inaccurate.
Kyiv, Poland, and the Baltic States want NATO to join the fight against Russia and they dream of invoking Article 5 of the charter. The West has made it clear that there will be no negotiations until Ukraine decides the time is right. But, realistically, that can all change if Paris, Berlin, or a new administration in Washington decides the war is over. (See “TOP NATO OFFICIAL BACKTRACKS AFTER FLOATING IDEA THAT UKRAINE COULD CEDE LAND FOR ALLIANCE MEMBERSHIP” 22 Aug 2023, “NATO INFRINGEMENT? POLAND SENDS TROOPS TO THE BORDER AFTER ALLEGATIONS THAT MINSK VIOLATED AIRSPACE” 8 Aug 2023, and “RUSSIA ONCE AGAIN CALLS NATO MEMBERSHIP FOR UKRAINE ITS ULTIMATE RED LINE” 1 Aug 2023.)
NATO wants to see Russia weakened and—ideally—destroyed and served on a cutting board in Brussels, but it wants to achieve this feat by using Ukrainians—which is happening now. Moscow sees NATO membership in Ukraine as the ultimate red line and an existential threat. The war will not end until Kyiv agrees to neutrality, which it will, sooner or later.