Poland said a Russian-made missile was likely to be blamed for the deaths of Polish citizens in an explosion near Poland’s border with Ukraine on Tuesday, an explosion that raised alarm in a day of Russian missile attacks on Ukraine.
Poland held an emergency meeting of the country’s National Security and Defense Council, and President Andrzej Duda said it was “very likely” that it would advocate the invocation of Article 4 of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Charter, under which it empowers members when the security and territorial integrity of a nation is threatened.
While the Polish Foreign Ministry said the missile was Russian-made, Mr. Duda told reporters, “It is most likely a Russian-made missile, but this is all still under investigation at the moment.”
He added: “We do not have any conclusive evidence at the present time on who fired this missile.”
Military analysts have noted that both the Russian and Ukrainian militaries may be using Russian-made Soviet-era missiles.
Zbigniew Rau, Poland’s foreign minister, summoned Russia’s ambassador to demand “immediate detailed explanations” of the blast, according to statement from the Ministry.
President Biden joined an emergency meeting of leaders of the Group of Seven rich nations on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, on Wednesday morning to discuss the situation in Poland. When asked by reporters after the meeting if the missile was launched from Russia, he hinted that it had not been launched.
“There is preliminary information that contradicts that,” he said. “I don’t want to say it until we’ve fully investigated.” But he added that the “trajectory” of the missile made it unlikely that it would be “launched from Russia”.
The Kremlin denied any involvement in the blast, and there is no immediate evidence of a deliberate attack. A deliberate attack would have broader and more serious consequences because Poland – unlike Ukraine – is a NATO member. The alliance charter obliges its members to: mutual defenseNoting that an attack on someone is an attack on everyone. This can be seen as requiring a coordinated response to the explosion in Poland.
NATO and G7 leaders issued a statement offering their “full support and assistance in the ongoing investigation in Poland”. The US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd J. Austin III, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark A. Milley, with their Polish counterparts. Mr. Osten assured the Polish Minister of Defense of the United States’ firm commitment to the defense of Poland and the DoD’s readiness to assist Poland in any investigation of the incident.
Faced with the possibility of the war in Ukraine spilling over into a third country, NATO ambassadors plan to meet in Brussels on Wednesday morning to discuss the situation, according to two diplomats from NATO countries who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The explosion occurred in the village of Przyodo, about four miles north of the Ukrainian border.
The Russian Defense Ministry denied any involvement. on Telegram, The ministry wrote that any statements by Polish officials or the media about Russian missiles hitting the village is a “deliberate provocation”.
“No strikes were conducted on targets near the Ukrainian-Polish state border,” the ministry said.
Polish government spokesman Piotr Müller said that special measures had been put in place, including an increase in the combat readiness of some military units.
Russia launched a massive missile attack on Ukraine on Tuesday, with nearly 90 missiles targeting mainly the country’s electrical infrastructure. Ukraine’s Volyn region, where Russian missile strikes were reported on Tuesday, is across the border from Przyodo.
The proximity of the explosion to the border raised the possibility that it was the result of a faulty missile or remnants of a missile dropped by Ukrainian air defense systems. The Ukrainian Air Force said 70 Russian missiles were shot down on Tuesday. Shrapnel from a devastating missile fell on an apartment building in Kyiv, killing one person.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Share on Twitter That the explosion in Poland was not caused by a Ukrainian air defense missile.
Although the cause of the explosion remains unclear – including whether it was related to munitions or was caused by something else – Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, seized on reports of possible Russian involvement, calling it evidence of a “very significant escalation”.
Since the beginning of the invasion, Ukraine’s Western allies, including the United States, have sought to keep the fighting confined to Ukrainian soil and avoid direct confrontation between NATO and Russia, even as NATO members supply Kyiv with a steady stream of weapons.
Stephen ErlangerAnd the Julian E BarnesAnd the Richard Perez PeñaAnd the Michael CrowleyAnd the Katie RogersAnd the Eric Schmidt And the Carly Olson Contribute to the preparation of reports.
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