Romania and Moldova also detected unidentified flying objects

The incident in Moldova caused a general interruption of flights (EFE/EPA/DUMITRU DORU) (DUMITRU DORU DUMITRU DORU/)

Romania sent military planes and its neighbor Moldova temporarily closed its airspace on Tuesday, after authorities from both countries reported mysterious objects similar to weather balloons soaring through their skies.

The incidents occurred around noon local time and briefly raised concerns in the two Eastern European countries, both bordering Ukraine and affected by the war.

The Romanian Ministry of Defense reported that it had sent two planes under NATO command to southeastern Romania in search of an aerial object that he described as small and with “characteristics similar to those of a weather balloon.” The object had initially been detected by radar systems in Romanian airspace. at an altitude of about 36,000 feet (11,000 meters).

“The crews of the two aircraft did not confirm the presence of the air target, either visually or with onboard radars,” a ministry statement said, adding that the two MiG-21 LanceR aircraft remained in the vicinity for about 30 minutes. before returning to base.

The incident in Moldova led to widespread flight disruption and a moment of panic as authorities temporarily closed the country’s airspace for what they later described as a “weather balloon-like” object sighted near the Ukrainian border.

Dozens of flights in the country, one of the poorest in Europe, were canceled or rescheduled. Some were diverted to Romania.

“Given the weather conditions and the impossibility of monitoring and identifying the object, as well as its flight path (…) the decision was made to temporarily close the airspace,” the Moldovan aviation authority said in a statement.

It was not clear if the two incidents were related, and neither country stated where they believed the objects came from.

The events follow a series of similar incidents in the United States this month, including a Chinese balloon that was shot down after crossing American airspace. China stated that it was a weather balloon that had accidentally deviated from its trajectory.

(With information from AP)

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