Ukraine resumed operations at a Danube River border checkpoint with Romania after a Russian drone strike damaged port facilities in the region overnight.
(Bloomberg) — Ukraine resumed operations at a Danube River border checkpoint with Romania after a Russian drone strike damaged port facilities in the region overnight.
Crossing at the Orlivka ferry checkpoint has started after a halt to carry out stabilization measures, the Ukrainian State Border Service said on its website Tuesday. Governor Oleh Kiper of Ukraine’s southern Odesa region said port infrastructure was hit in the area close to the Romanian border.
Russia has been stepping up attacks on Ukrainian ports and infrastructure near the Danube to prevent Kyiv’s attempt to use alternative river, rail and road routes to ship its crops after Moscow exited a Black Sea commerce deal in July.
The strikes in the border region are ratcheting up tension, with incidents of spillover into Romania, a North Atlantic Treaty Organization member state. Romanian authorities have reported several incidents of Russian drone parts landing on its soil.
Romania and NATO authorities have so far been cautious on the matter. The military alliance has previously said it’s found no information indicating an intentional attack. The government in Bucharest currently has no intention to escalate the latest incident near the checkpoint, since there has been no damage on Romanian soil, according to a Romanian official who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.
Shipping on the stretch of the Danube that divides Ukraine and Romania, a key route for grain transit, is operating normally, according to an official with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified.
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Such attacks in Ukraine are likely to continue after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov last week said a United Nations proposal to revive a deal to allow safe passage for Ukrainian grain exports wouldn’t work. Russia’s conditions for restarting a deal to secure Black Sea commerce are meanwhile “impossible,” Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Olha Stefanishyna told Bloomberg TV last week.
–With assistance from Irina Vilcu, Andra Timu and Alberto Nardelli.
(Updates with reopening in first two paragraphs)
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