The Romanian defense ministry said Saturday that new fragments of a drone, like those used by Russia, were found on its territory, indicating a breach of Romania’s airspace.
‘The identification by Romanian authorities on Romanian territory near the border with Ukraine of new drone fragments … indicates an unacceptable breach occurred of the air space of Romania, a NATO member, with real risks to the security of Romanian citizens in the area,’ Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said in a statement.
Iohannis said he informed NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg of the drone – the second to crash in Romanian territory this week – and that Stoltenberg reiterated the alliance’s complete solidarity with Romania.
Since July, when Moscow abandoned the Black Sea grain deal, Ukraine has been shipping grain from its river ports across the Danube from Romania. And Russia has repeatedly struck those Ukrainian river ports.
These attacks, just hundreds of meters from the Romanian border, have increased security risks for NATO, whose members have a mutual defense commitment.
The U.S. State Department said this week it would rotate additional U.S. F-16 fighter jets to bolster NATO’s air policing mission in Romania.
The leaders of the world’s 20 wealthiest countries adopted a consensus declaration Saturday at the G20 summit, calling on all states to refrain from the use of force to seize territory but stopped short of condemning Russia for its war on Ukraine.
Despite the consensus declaration, the group remains deeply divided over the war. Western nations were pushing for a strong denunciation of Russia in the Leaders’ Declaration, while other countries demanded a focus on broader economic issues.
On the war in Ukraine, the declaration states that all countries must act in a manner consistent with the purposes and principles of the United Nations charter.
All states, it said, must refrain from threats or use of force to seek territorial acquisition against territorial integrity and sovereignty or political independence of any state. It also calls the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons “inadmissible” and urges for peaceful resolution of conflicts through the use of diplomacy and dialog.
The G20 noted “different views and assessments of the situation,’ regarding the war in Ukraine.
They called on Russia and Ukraine to ensure immediate and unimpeded deliveries of grain, foodstuffs, and fertilizers from Russia and Ukraine for the sake of global food and energy security and asked for the end of military destruction or other attacks on relevant infrastructure.
The White House on Saturday hailed this year’s G20 summit as a success, saying the final communique contains “consequential paragraphs” on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – despite the notable omission of the word “Russia” in those paragraphs, which drew sharp criticism from Ukraine’s government.
G20 Calls For Ukraine Peace, Stops Short of Naming Russia as Aggressor
Washington’s argument for supporting Ukraine hinged on the significant economic consequences of the conflict, the White House told VOA.
“The war in Ukraine has put a huge strain on lower- and middle-income countries when it comes to food security, energy security, inflationary pressure,’ John Kirby, director of strategic communications for the National Security Council, told VOA on the summit’s sidelines in New Delhi. ‘You can’t discount the effect that Mr. Putin’s war has had on the global economy.”
The New Delhi declaration did not explicitly condemn Russia’s devastating war against Ukraine, as was the case at the G20 summit last year.
Russian G20 representative Svetlana Lukash told journalists in New Delhi the joint declaration reached at the G20 summit was “balanced” and welcomed by Moscow.
The top leaders of Russia and China were absent from the summit but were represented by their envoys.
Black Sea grain deal
Russia said on Saturday it was sticking to its conditions for a return to the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which it quit in July. The initiative allowed shipments of Ukrainian grain to pass safely through the Black Sea.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia needed its state agricultural bank – and not a subsidiary of the bank as proposed by the United Nations – to be reconnected to the international SWIFT bank payments system.
‘All our conditions are perfectly well-known. They do not need interpretation, they are absolutely concrete, and all this is absolutely achievable,’ Peskov said.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in a letter last month that Russia would be eligible to apply for membership and access to the SWIFT banking system for food and fertilizer transactions.
The Russian Agricultural Bank subsidiary in Luxembourg could immediately apply to SWIFT to ‘effectively enable access’ for the bank to the international payments system within 30 days, the United Nations told Russia in a letter, seen by Reuters on Friday.
Ukraine’s armed forces are making “gradual tactical advances” against Russia’s defensive line east of the town of Robotyne, the British Defense Ministry said Saturday in its daily intelligence update on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The update, posted on the X platform – formerly known as Twitter – also indicated that it is “highly likely” Russia has taken forces from other areas of the front line “to replace degraded units” near Robotyne.
The redeployments, the ministry said, are “likely limiting” Russia’s capacity for executing offensive operations in other front-line areas and are “highly likely” indicative of pressure on Russia’s defensive lines, especially around Robotyne.
VOA White House Correspondent Anita Powell contributed to this report from New Delhi. Some information was provided by The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.