BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Authorities in Moldova said Monday they destroyed explosives discovered in a part of a Shahed drone that crashed on its territory from the war in neighboring Ukraine, while the foreign minister condemned Russia's “constant barbaric attacks” across the border.
Police said that 50 kilograms (110 pounds) of explosives were discovered during an investigation of the Shahed drone parts found on Sunday at a crash site near Moldova’s southern town of Etulia, close to the border with Ukraine. All of the drone components have been collected and defused, police said.
Border police suspected the debris came from one of the drones that was shot down by the Ukrainian anti-aircraft system during overnight attacks launched on Friday by Russian forces on Ukraine’s Izmail region. The distance between Etulia and Izmail is about 40 kilometers (25 miles).
Moldova's Foreign Minister Mihai Popsoi condemned Russia’s “constant barbaric attacks” against Ukraine, which he said directly affects Moldova. “Remnants of Shahed drone, found today in the south of the country near the border, are a stark reminder of the violence and destruction sown by the Kremlin,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
It is the latest incident from the war next door to rattle non-NATO Moldova, which became a European Union candidate member in June 2022. Last year, Moldova also discovered missile and rocket fragments several times on its territory, some of which also contained explosives and required controlled detonations.
Since the war in Ukraine started on Feb. 24, 2022, Moldova has faced a multitude of problems including a severe energy crisis after Moscow dramatically reduced gas supplies, skyrocketing inflation, and what officials have routinely said are attempts by Moscow to destabilize the country. Russia denies the accusations.