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POTENTIAL RUSSIAN DRONE DEBRIS IN ROMANIA, AS RUSSIAN ATTACKS GET CLOSER TO NATO BORDERS

Region of Concern: Romania

Written By Laura Arrijuria; Edited by Cameron Munoz

Date: September 7, 2023


Map Of Romania[1]


Event: On Wednesday, Romania’s defense minister, Angel Tilvar, stated that pieces of a potential Russian drone were found in Tulcea county near the Danube River at the border between Romania and Ukraine.[2] This follows a Ukrainian report on Monday alleging that Russian drones fell and detonated in Romania, a NATO member, during an attack on the port of Izmail in Ukraine. On Tuesday, Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis denied the Ukrainian claims.[3] He also declared that Romania remains “concerned” as nearby Russian attacks occur “within a very short distance” from the border. A recent attack on the area of Izmail occurred 800 meters (2,600 feet) away from Romania.[4] Since July, the Danube area has seen multiple Russian attacks on Ukrainian ports following the Russian withdrawal from the grain deal, allowing Ukrainian grain exports into the Black Sea.[5]


Significance: Russia is very unlikely to stop drone attacks on the Danube region in the future. These attacks will very likely continue to occur near Romania as the Danube area almost certainly replaces the Black Sea export route. This development will very likely result in debris flying over the Romanian-Ukrainian border. Tulcea county’s infrastructure and civilians could likely be collateral damage in case of a more significant Russian attack. An increase in tensions between NATO and Russia is very likely if the drone is confirmed to be from Russia. The recent Russian drone attack in Izmail is almost certainly a strategy to impact and hinder Ukrainian grain exports. Grain warehouses will almost certainly be the targets of future Russian attacks. Usual routes between Romania and Ukraine for grain transportation will very likely be impacted. Both countries are likely seeking other paths to maintain transportation to countries benefiting from the Ukraine grain. Countries dependent upon Ukrainian exports will very likely face food insecurity if Russian attacks continue to increase on the Romanian-Ukrainian border. Conflicting statements between Ukraine and Romania regarding the Monday drone event are very likely indicative of difficulties in cooperation and intelligence sharing between the two countries. If it occurs again, it could very likely destabilize the region and slow down efforts against Russian attacks in the Danube area.


Recommendations: CTG recommends Romania increase its military presence and surveillance on its border with Ukraine, particularly surrounding Izmail’s port. Romania should also plan and prepare a security strategy in case of a potential bigger Russian attack in the border area. NATO members are also recommended to voice and maintain support for Romania. CTG also recommends NATO increase diplomatic pressure on Russia regarding the potential violation of a NATO member’s territory. NATO should also reiterate its previous fact-checking statement denying Russian accusations of its involvement with Ukraine and the allegations of its threatening actions toward Russia. Considering the ongoing tensions between NATO and Russia, CTG recommends NATO call for a de-escalation of attacks in the area. Ukraine and Romania should increase their cooperation and intelligence sharing. They should also pressure Russia regarding the potential impact of attacks in the area on global food markets and food security.

 

[2] NATO member Romania says it has found drone pieces from Russian attacks in Ukraine on its territory, AP NEWS, September 2023, https://apnews.com/article/romania-danube-ukraine-drone-russia-49d7c2f087d19cd0363dc24b8b121f8d

[3] Ukraine says Russian drones hit NATO member Romania, Bucharest denies report, Reuters, September 2023, https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/ukraine-says-russian-drones-detonated-romanian-territory-during-danube-strike-2023-09-04/

[4] Ukraine Attacks 'Very Close' To Border: Romanian President, Barron’s, September 2023, https://www.barrons.com/news/fresh-ukraine-attacks-very-close-to-romania-border-romania-president-8a0436f9

[5] Ukraine says Russian drones hit NATO member Romania, Bucharest denies report, Reuters, September 2023, https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/ukraine-says-russian-drones-detonated-romanian-territory-during-danube-strike-2023-09-04/

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