The ambassador told the UN that Poland acted with “total restraint” after a missile killed two people



CNN

Poland’s ambassador to the United Nations said his country acted with “total restraint” after a suspected Russian-made missile fell within its borders on Tuesday, killing Polish citizens and raising fears of an escalation of Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Speaking at the UN Security Council on Wednesday, Krzysztof Szczerski said Poland immediately launched an “intensive, multi-phase investigation” into the incident, which Warsaw and NATO said was likely caused by a missile fired by Ukrainian forces to defend their country against Russian strikes.

“Poland is also conducting extensive consultations on the incident with its NATO allies and key partners,” he said, noting that the incident prompted Poland to increase the combat readiness of a unit of the armed forces focused on airspace monitoring.

Two farmers were killed when the missile caused an explosion outside the rural village of Przyodo in eastern Poland, about 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) west of the Ukrainian border.

Tuesday’s incident is the first time a NATO country has suffered a direct hit during the nearly nine-month-old conflict, and prompted an emergency meeting of ambassadors from the US-led military coalition in Brussels on Wednesday.

Chzyrsky said the incident “teaches how close we are to a possible escalation in the extension of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine with far-reaching consequences that we can all imagine.”

He added that the two Polish victims “would not have been killed if there had not been a Russian war against Ukraine”.

“Their only fault is that they were living near civilian infrastructure on the Ukrainian side of the border that Russia continues to attack as a military target,” he said.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said Russia bore “ultimate responsibility” for the incident “because it continues its illegal war against Ukraine”.

The explosion occurred around the same time that Russia launched its largest wave of missile attacks on Ukrainian cities in more than a month, targeting mostly energy infrastructure.

The Polish ambassador reiterated his country’s early assessment that the incident appeared to have been unintentional.

“The preliminary findings support the hypothesis that the event was not a deliberate attack. But of course, we need to wait for the final outcome until the investigation is over.

Polish President Andrzej 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.

The US National Security Council said it 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.

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