Moldova briefly closed its airspace due to a balloon-like object

Moldova briefly closed its airspace due to a balloon-like object

Moldova briefly closes airspace due to balloon-like object

Illustration photo – Moldovan President Maia Sandu (left) and new Prime Minister Dorin Recean, February 10, 2023. 

Chisinau – Moldova briefly closed its airspace today. The authorities initially justified the move without further details by ensuring the safety of civilian transport. The Civil Aviation Authority later said, according to Reuters, that it had received a report from the Ministry of Defense that a small object resembling a weather balloon had been spotted over the north of the country – near the border with Ukraine.

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The airspace closure notice was issued by Moldovan authorities around noon local time today, according to media reports.

The Civil Aviation Authority later said it closed the airspace “due to weather conditions and the impossibility of observing and identifying the object and its flight path”.

He opened the airspace as soon as the authorities came to the conclusion that the object did not threaten people's safety, according to him, this happened in about an hour and a half.

Neighboring Romania was also searching its airspace for an unspecified flying object today. Romanian air defense radars detected an object similar to a weather balloon at an altitude of 11,000 meters, the Romanian Ministry of Defense said.

The Romanian Air Force sent two MiG-21 fighter jets to the object. “The aircrews did not confirm the presence of the aerial target either visually or based on airborne radar input,” the Air Force said. The fighters returned to base after half an hour. It is not clear whether the two incidents are related, the AP agency writes.

Moldova said last week that Russian missiles aimed at neighboring Ukraine flew over its airspace.

Chisinau has relations with Russia strained relations due to the situation in the separatist region of Transnistria, where the Russian army has its troops, and in recent days he accused Moscow of trying to destabilize Moldova and carry out a violent coup there.