NATO, world leaders rattled after ‘Russian-made’ missile hits Poland [Video]

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

  • A Russian-made missile hit Poland near the Ukrainian border on Tuesday afternoon, killing two people.
  • Since Poland is a member of NATO, the alliance held an emergency meeting on Wednesday “to discuss this tragic incident.”
  • President Joe Biden, who convened with other world leaders on the Poland explosion, said it was “unlikely” the projectile was fired from Russia.

President Joe Biden had an emergency meeting with the leaders of eight allied countries to support the investigation into the explosion that killed two people in Poland on Tuesday.

Early Wednesday, Poland’s foreign ministry said that the explosion was caused by a “Russian-made” missile while President Andrzej Sebastian Duda was more cautious saying it was “most probably Russian-made.” Officials at the time were unsure who fired it as Ukraine also uses Russian-made missiles.

Poland is a member of NATO, prompting alliance ambassadors to also hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday “to discuss this tragic incident.”

The explosion came as Russia launched fresh missile attacks across Ukraine in what Kyiv said was the heaviest wave of missile strikes since Moscow started the war in February.

Speaking to reporters in Bali, Biden said it was “unlikely” the missile was fired from Russia. A NATO source said later that Biden told allies that the projectile was a Ukrainian air defense missile. This development eases the concern that a deadly incident in a NATO country might lead to escalation.

Biden had phone calls with Duda and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and discussed Russia’s “totally unconscionable” missile attacks on civilian infrastructure across Ukraine during the emergency meeting with other world leaders.

Kyiv confirmed it shot down most of the incoming Russian missiles with its own air defense missiles. Russia targeted Ukraine’s Volyn region which is just across the border from Poland.

The Kremlin was irked by the “baseless statements” made by other nations about the incident and seemed to appreciate Washington’s comparatively restrained statement. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia had nothing to do with the incident and noted that a Ukrainian S-300 air defense system caused the blast in Poland.

Some leaders of Western countries said that Russia is still ultimately responsible.

“They stressed that, whatever the outcome of that investigation, Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is squarely to blame for the ongoing violence,” British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s office said after a meeting between the new U.K. leader and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Source: Reuters

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