On Tuesday, Romania scrambled its military jets, while Moldova closed its airspace after they both noticed unidentified balloon-like objects going through their airspace.
A Romanian Air Force fighter jet flies during an exercise at the Boboc Air Base, Romania.
AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda
The events took place at noon in the respective local times, which caused a stir in the two countries of Eastern Europe, both of which are neighbors of Ukraine and have been impacted by the Russian conflict.
The Romanian defense ministry reported the sending of two jets under NATO command to the southeast airspace of the country to investigate a small airborne object with "attributes akin to a weather balloon," which had been originally noticed by radar systems at a height of approximately 11,000 meters (36,000 feet).
According to a statement from the ministry, the personnel of the two planes failed to observe the supposed aerial target either with the naked eye or on their radars. The two MiG-21 LanceR jets stayed in the vicinity for around 30 minutes before heading back to their base.
At the United Nations headquarters in New York, Bogdan Aurescu, Romania's Foreign Minister, declared to the press that the Romanian fighter jets had not located any object, as it had been indicated on the radar, and thus, the Romanian airspace was safe.
It was uncertain if the two episodes were linked, and neither nation disclosed from where they thought the objects had originated.
This month, there have been a number of similar occurrences in the U.S. where warplanes detected and eliminated several UFOs although we still don’t have a substantive update on the three shot down over the weekend. The only confirmed object is the Chinese balloon that had flown across American airspace. The Chinese government declared it was a weather balloon that had mistakenly gone off its original trajectory.
In Moldova, the situation caused a lot of problems with travel and a short period of alarm after the government briefly closed its airspace due to the presence of something resembling a weather balloon near the northern border with Ukraine.
Countless flights were either called off or delayed. A portion of these was rerouted to Romania.
Due to the meteorological conditions and the lack of ability to observe and designate the object and its trajectory in the air, Moldova's aviation authority declared in a statement that it was necessary to suspend the airspace for some time.
In 2004, Romania became a member of NATO and was admitted to the European Union in 2007. With its military neutrality policy, Moldova is not a member of NATO. However, they are aiming to strengthen their ties with the West and were granted the status of an EU candidate last June, which was the same day Ukraine was granted the same status.
On Monday, Maia Sandu, the President of Moldova, asserted that Russia is attempting to overthrow the government of Moldova and obstruct its advancement toward EU membership.
Zakharova from the Russian Foreign Ministry discounted Sandu's assertions on Tuesday as "baseless and unsupported."