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NATO member denies Kiev’s claim about Russian missile


Romania has rejected claims by Ukraine that a Kalibr projectile crossed its airspace

Ukraine’s top military official has accused Russia of launching two missiles at a target in his nation and over the territories of NATO member Romania as well as over Moldova’s. Bucharest and Chisinau have said there was airspace violation in Moldova but not in Romania.

Valery Zaluzhny, the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, claimed that two Kalibr cruise missiles fired by a Russian warship in the Black Sea had passed through Ukrainian airspace, then crossed into Moldova and later Romania, before re-entering Ukraine near a border trijunction. The reported incident happened on Friday morning amid an alleged barrage of Russian airstrikes.

Moldova’s defense ministry said a missile had entered Moldovan airspace near the town of Mocra in the breakaway region of Transnistria. The time of the alleged violation coincided with the one that Zaluzhny reported.

The ministry said the projectile crossed back into Ukraine over the town of Cosauti in the Soroca district. Cosauti is located about 120 kilometers from the point where the borders of Ukraine, Moldova and Romania meet.

The statement did not attribute the missile to Russia, but the Moldovan foreign ministry did point the finger at Moscow. It said it had summoned the Russian ambassador in Chisinau, Oleg Vasnetsov, to protest the violation of Moldova’s airspace.

The Romanian Defense Ministry denied the claim that its airspace was violated. It reported tracking a missile launch from a Russian warship sailing near Crimea as it went over Ukraine, Moldova and again Ukraine. The part of the trajectory closest to the Romanian border was approximately 35 kilometers away from it, the statement said. The military briefly diverted two MiG-21 from a NATO air patrol mission, it added.

The Russian government would not immediately comment on the claims.

In mid-November, senior officials in Kiev accused Russia of deliberately striking Polish territory during a missile attack on targets in Ukraine. Two civilians were killed in a border village during the incident. President Vladimir Zelensky urged “collective action” against Russia, thought to be invoking NATO’s collective defense provisions.

Warsaw later said that the projectile was most likely a Ukrainian anti-aircraft interceptor. Ukraine doubled down on the allegations, though Zelensky then said he was not “100% sure” who the rocket belonged to.

Moscow stressed that images of the border village crash site clearly identified the projectile as a Ukrainian S-300 air defense missile.


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