Russian cruise missiles targeting Ukraine crossed Moldovan airspace, Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu has said, adding Moscow’s envoy has been summoned for an explanation.
“Three cruise missiles launched on Ukraine this morning from Russian ships in the Black Sea crossed Moldova’s airspace,” Popescu said on Twitter on Monday.
“I instructed that Russia’s ambassador be summoned to provide an explanation.”
Popescu expressed outrage at the many missile attacks carried out on Ukrainian cities on Monday, a day after Moscow blamed Ukraine for an explosion on a bridge connecting Crimea to Russia.
“Appalled by multiple Russian rocket strikes on cities across Ukraine, including the capital Kyiv, striking civilian targets. Russia must stop killing,” he said.
He said his office had been in touch with Moldovan embassy staff in Kyiv and that they were safe “and sheltering from these senseless attacks on civilians”.
“Our thoughts are with the victims of the brutal strikes,” Popescu said.
Like Ukraine, tiny Moldova is a former part of the Soviet Union with a pro-Western government.
Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees have flooded into the country since Russia sent troops into Ukraine.
Moldova was along with Ukraine granted candidate status by the European Union in a show of support in the face of Russia’s offensive.
Moldova has a small breakaway region, Transnistria, which is armed and supported by Russia.
Explosions have rocked Kyiv in the heaviest missile attacks on Ukraine’s capital since Russia launched its invasion.
President Putin says it’s retaliation for Crimea's damaged Kerch bridge ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/TeFJ2KB5RF
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) October 10, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the attacks on Monday had aimed to take down the country’s energy infrastructure. Regional officials across the country confirmed widespread disruptions to services.
Russia’s defence ministry confirmed it had targeted Ukrainian energy, military command and communications facilities, claiming the raids had been a success and “achieved their aims”.
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the attacks had not been “provoked” and the onslaught was Moscow’s response to a series of embarrassing military losses in eastern Ukraine.
“Putin is desperate because of battlefield defeats and uses missile terror to try to change the pace of war in his favour,” Kuleba wrote on social media.