A man has died in a fire after ramming his car into the gate of the Russian embassy in Romania.
Police in Bucharest say the vehicle had been carrying containers of flammable substances when it crashed into the embassy gate at around 06:00 on Wednesday.
Video of the aftermath showed the car engulfed in flames as security personnel ran through the area. The sedan did not enter the embassy compound.
According to police, firefighters were able to put the fire out but the driver died at the scene.
The crash was under investigation and an autopsy will be carried out, according to prosecutor Bogdan Staicu. There was no immediate information on a possible motive or the driver’s details.
The incident comes days after Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed Romania’s parliament when he labelled the slaying of civilians in the town of Bucha a “war crime” and called for tougher European sanctions against Russia.
In a statement after the incident, the Russian embassy expressed condolences to the family of the driver, adding none of its employees were injured in the incident.
“There is no doubt that he committed this act under the influence of an explosion of anti-Russian hysteria in connection with a staged provocation in the city of Bucha,” the statement read, referring to the alleged killings of civilians in Bucha near Kyiv, which Ukraine has called a “genocide”. Russia has dismissed the accusation as a “staged provocation”.
Russia’s ambassador to Romania, Valery Kuzmin, told state television that the embassy in Bucharest has “repeatedly” received threats by email.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, protesters have gathered outside Russia’s embassy in the Romanian capital.