Russian embassy in Romania has gate rammed by car with flammable substances

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A man was killed early Wednesday after he crashed his sedan into the gate of the Russian Embassy in the Romanian capital. 

The car was carrying containers of flammable substances and burst into flames upon impact. 

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Police said the driver rammed into the gate at about 6 a.m. local time – but it did not enter the Bucharest embassy compound.

While firefighters were able to put out the blaze, the man died at the scene.

The case prosecutor, Bogdan Staicu, told reporters that the containers found inside the car will be examined by forensics experts.

The crash is under investigation and an autopsy is set to be carried out. 

The embassy said no employees were injured in the incident and expressed its condolences to the driver’s family.

“We must state with regret that whatever the motives of the driver,” the embassy said in a statement, “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.”

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Russia’s ambassador to Romania, Valery Kuzmin, told a Russian state-owned television channel that the embassy has “repeatedly” received threats by email, according to the state news agency Tass. 

“The atmosphere that has been gradually forming here is very tense,” Kuzmin said.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine started on Feb. 24, protesters have gathered outside Russia’s embassy in the capital. 

On Tuesday, Romania – which shares a border with Ukraine and has taken in more than 600,000 refugees – ordered 10 diplomats from the embassy expelled following a string of expulsions of Russian officials across the 27-nation European Union.

Romania’s Foreign Ministry said the actions of 10 embassy workers “contravene the provisions of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relationships.”

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Meanwhile, Western governments prepared Wednesday to toughen sanctions against Russia and send more weapons to Ukraine.

Images of dead civilians lining the streets of Bucha and other cities have shocked the world in recent days and the U.S. plans to seek a vote this week to suspend Russia from its seat on the United Nations’ top human rights body

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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