Poland and NATO say “there is no indication” that a missile in Poland was a deliberate attack

Bali, Indonesia

Poland and NATO leaders said the missile that killed two people on Polish soil on Tuesday was likely launched by Ukrainian forces defending their country against a barrage of Russian strikes, and that the incident appeared to be an accident.

The explosion occurred outside the village outside the rural village of Przewodo in eastern Poland, about four miles (6.4 kilometers) west of the Ukrainian border on Tuesday afternoon, around the same time that Russia launched its largest wave of missile attacks on Ukrainian cities in more than a month. .

On Wednesday, Polish President Andrzej Duda said in a press conference that there is a “high chance” that an air defense missile was from the Ukrainian side and it may have landed in Poland in an “accident” while intercepting incoming Russian missiles.

There is no indication that this was a deliberate attack on Poland. It was most likely a Russian-made S-300 missile, Duda said in a tweet earlier on Wednesday.

Russian and Ukrainian forces have used Russian-made munitions during the conflict, including the S-300 surface-to-air missile system, which Kyiv has deployed as part of its air defences.

The incident, which took place in Poland, a NATO country, prompted the ambassadors of the US-led military alliance to hold an emergency meeting in Brussels on Wednesday.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also said there was no indication that the incident was the result of a deliberate attack by either side, and that Ukrainian forces were not responsible for their defense of their country from a Russian attack.

“Our initial analysis indicates that the accident was most likely caused by a Ukrainian air defense missile fired to defend Ukrainian territory against Russian cruise missile attacks,” Stoltenberg said. “But let me be clear, this is not Ukraine’s fault. Russia bears ultimate responsibility, and it continues its illegal war against Ukraine.”

Stoltenberg also said there are no indications that Russia is planning to attack NATO countries, in remarks that appear intended to defuse escalating tensions.

News of the incident overnight led to a flurry of activity thousands of miles away in Indonesia, where US President Joe Biden held an emergency meeting with some world leaders to discuss the matter on the sidelines of the G-20 summit.

The joint statement following the emergency meeting at the G-20 was deliberately vague when it came to the incident, focusing more on the dozens of strikes that occurred in the hours before the missile crossed into Poland.

Duda and Stoltenberg’s comments are consistent with statements by two officials briefed on the initial US assessments, who told CNN that the missile appeared to be Russian-made and originated in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian military told the United States and its allies that it had attempted to intercept a Russian missile in that time frame and near the site of the Polish missile strike, a US official told CNN. It is not clear if this air defense missile was the same one that struck Poland, but this information has informed the ongoing US assessment of the strike.

The NSC said the United States had “full confidence” in the Polish investigation into the blast and that the “ultimately responsible party” for the incident was Russia for its continued invasion.

Polish President Duda said Wednesday that investigations into the site where the missile fell will continue to be a joint operation with the United States. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for Ukrainian experts to be allowed access to the site.

On Wednesday, Zelensky said he did not believe the missile was launched by his forces, and called on Ukrainian experts to play a role in the investigation. “I have no doubt that it was not our missile,” he told reporters in Kyiv.

Earlier Wednesday, Zelensky’s adviser said the accident was a consequence of Russian aggression, but did not explicitly deny reports that the missile could be launched by the Ukrainian side.

Russia has turned the eastern part of the European continent into an unpredictable battlefield. In a statement to CNN, Mykhailo Podolyak said the intent, the means of execution, the risks, the escalation – all come from Russia alone.

A Ukrainian Air Force spokesman said on national television on Wednesday that the military would “do everything” to facilitate the Polish investigation.

Earlier, Biden said that preliminary information indicated that it was unlikely that the missile that fell in Poland was launched from Russia, after consulting with allies at the G20 summit in Bali.

“I don’t want to say that [it was fired from Russia] Until we fully investigate,” Biden continued. “It is unlikely in the minds of the track that it was launched from Russia. But we’ll see.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday that Russia had “nothing to do” with the missile incident in Poland, and that some leaders made statements without understanding “what really happened.”

“The Poles had every opportunity to immediately report that they were talking about the wreckage of the S-300 air defense missile system. Accordingly, all experts understood that this could not be a missile that had anything to do with it,” Peskov said during a regular call with journalists. of the Russian Armed Forces.

We witnessed another hysterical, frenzied, frenzied reaction of the Russians, which was not based on any real evidence. High-ranking leaders from various countries made statements without any idea of ​​what really happened.”

Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia echoed Peskov’s statement on Wednesday, dismissing claims by other members of the UN Security Council that Russia was ultimately responsible for Tuesday’s missile incident in Poland.

“We have long ceased to be amazed at your attempts, in any circumstances despite the truth or common sense, to blame Russia for everything,” Nebenzia said during a meeting of the UN Security Council in New York.

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas told CNN that NATO allies should “keep their cool” in light of the incident.

“I think we really have to keep our cool, knowing that there could be a knock-on effect, especially for those countries that are very close. [to Ukraine]Klass told CNN international anchor Christiane Amanpour in an interview on Wednesday.

The incident comes after Russia fired a barrage of 85 missiles into Ukraine on Tuesday, mostly targeting energy infrastructure. The bombing knocked out power to the city and caused power outages for 10 million people nationwide. Zelensky later confirmed that power has since been restored to eight million consumers.

Ukrainians across the country are expected to face more scheduled and unplanned power outages on Wednesday.

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