NATO member state threatens to shoot down Russian drones
The Romanian Armed Forces are ready to shoot down Russian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the deputy chief of its general staff, General Gheorghița Vlad, said on Friday. Bucharest will also deploy additional forces to the Danube Delta near the Ukrainian border, he told the Swedish SVT 2 broadcaster.
“We decided to deploy around 600 soldiers to strengthen our defense line in the northern part of Dobrogea,” Vlad said, referring to Romania’s eastern coastal region, which borders Ukraine in the north. The border between Ukraine and Romania goes along the Danube River.
According to the general, additional radar systems were also deployed in the area, and the local air defenses were put on alert. Romania also “had discussions” with other NATO member states regarding its potential response to what Vlad described as possible “Russian aggression.”
When asked whether Romania was ready to use its air-defense systems against Russian UAVs, the general said they were “ready to use all the military power to defend the Romanian territory.” The exact response would depend “on the level of threat,” he added.
The Romanian Defense Ministry restricted flights over northern Dobrogea and particularly near the border with Ukraine on Thursday. It also announced the construction of two bomb shelters in the Plauru-Ceatalchioi area, located just across the Danube from Izmail, Ukraine’s largest river port in the Danube Delta.
Earlier this week, Bucharest claimed that wreckage from a suspected Russian drone had been discovered in the area. “If it is confirmed that the remains belong to a Russian drone, the situation would be completely unacceptable and would constitute a serious violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Romania,” President Klaus Iohannis said at the time.
Kiev claimed on Monday that a Russian drone had crashed in Romania during an attack on Izmail. The Romanian Defense Ministry initially denied that claim. Moscow did not comment on the incident.
Russia began targeting port infrastructure in Odessa and other Ukrainian Black Sea towns in July, following an attack by Kiev’s seaborne drones on the bridge that connects Crimea to mainland Russia. The attack resulted in two civilian deaths and injured a minor.