Russian drone on Romanian territory?
Several days after Ukraine alleged that Russian drones landed on Romanian territory, Romania has admitted that parts of what is possibly a Russian drone may have fallen within the Nato country’s borders. Defence Minister Angel Tilvar confirmed that suspicious debris had been found in the border region with Ukraine. The army will investigate the findings, he said. Commentators discuss the dangers and potential reactions.
An explosive display of incompetence
Bucharest has shown utter incompetence here, writes journalist Dan Tapalaga in G4Media.ro:
“The highest representatives of the Romanian state have been spouting nonsense to the world for two days. While half of Europe’s leaders were in Cotroceni, where the Three Seas Initiative summit is convening, Romania made a fool of itself on a global scale, showing how incapable it is of managing a security incident and how superficial its behaviour is regarding the war next door . ... I can’t recall a more shameful moment in the recent history of the Romanian state — such an explosive display of incompetence and dysfunctional institutions. This state is a danger to itself.”
Build up defence capacities
Blogger Stefan Vlaston calls for consequences in Adevărul:
“There was so much ‘increased’ vigilance going on that it took the Ministry of Defence three days to realise that Russian drones had crashed on Romanian territory. ... This time, the Russian drone attack on a Nato country didn’t claim any victims. But what about next time? ... [Romania] must equip the armed forces with powerful weapons to intercept and destroy drones that fly over the Danube. ... If it can’t manage this on its own, it must ask Nato for help — for equipment and skilled personnel. We can’t accept the risk that next time a Russian drone will kill Romanians in the villages on the border with Ukraine.”
Things are getting tight for Nato
In his France Inter podcast Géopolitique, columnist Pierre Haski warns of an escalation:
“Since July the Russians have been bombarding the Ukrainian Danube ports of Reni and Izmail in the south-west of Odessa, near the Romanian border. ... Since the start of the Russian invasion, Ukraine and Romania have been expanding this export route across the Danube, which was previously neglected in favour of the Black Sea. Within eighteen months the logistics experts have performed true miracles. ... This explains why Russia is stepping up its aggression in this region. ... The risk is that the war will move even closer to a Nato territory to which the alliance’s collective defence clause applies. Nato troops are stationed in Romania and ready to defend this territory.”
Banishing the collective defence spectre
Bucharest is doing its best to keep calm, La Stampa comments:
“’If it is confirmed that the parts found belong to a Russian drone, it would be an inadmissible situation’ and ‘a serious violation of Romania’s sovereignty and territorial integrity’, President Klaus Iohannis thundered. ... But at the same time efforts are being made to defuse the situation. Defence Minister Angel Tilvar has stressed that he saw no direct threat to the country. ... ‘You have to be able to distinguish between an aggression and an incident’, he told the Agerpres news agency. Words that firmly banish the spectre of recourse to Article 5 of the Atlantic Pact, which commits Nato countries to collective defence in the event of an attack.”