Romania and Moldova Report Mysterious Sky Objects and briefly closed their air space on Tuesday after encountering mysterious balloon-like objects in their skies. The incident raised concerns in the two Eastern European countries, both of which border Ukraine and have been affected by Russia’s war.
At around midday, Romania’s defense ministry deployed two NATO-commanded jets to search for an aerial object detected by radar systems in Romanian airspace. The object had characteristics similar to a weather balloon and was at an altitude of about 11,000 meters. The two MiG-21 LanceR aircraft stayed in the area for about 30 minutes but did not confirm the presence of the object.
Similarly, Moldova temporarily closed its airspace after an object similar to a weather balloon was spotted near the northern border with Ukraine. The country’s aviation authority said that the decision to close the airspace was taken due to weather conditions and the impossibility of monitoring and identifying the object and its flight path.
It is unclear whether the two incidents are related, and neither country has identified where they believed the objects had come from.
These events follow a series of similar incidents in the US this month, where objects detected and shot down by warplanes included a high-altitude Chinese balloon that had accidentally drifted off course.
Romania has been a NATO member since 2004 and a European Union member since 2007, while Moldova is not a potential NATO member, and it remains militarily neutral. Moldova was granted EU candidate status last June, the same day as Ukraine.
On Monday, before Romania and Moldova report mysterious sky objects, Moldovan President Maia Sandu accused Russian government of plotting to overthrow her country’s government and derail its EU accession path. However, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, dismissed Sandu’s claims as unfounded and unsubstantiated.