Poland missile attack likely an "unfortunate accident" says Polish President
US President Joe Biden says it is "unlikely" that Russia fired a missile on Poland, suggesting it may have come from Ukraine.
Update – 12pm
President of Poland Andrzej Duda has issued a statement saying that the missile incident in Poland on Tuesday evening that resulted in the deaths of two people appears to be an "unfortunate accident" and not an "intentional attack".
"It is highly probable" that the missile was fired by a Ukrainian anti-aircraft defence system, according to Duda.
"There are many indications that it was an air defence missile, which unfortunately fell on Polish territory," he said.
US officials have suggested that the missile that hit Poland on Tuesday evening, killing two people, could have been fired by Ukrainian forces at an incoming Russian projectile.
Two people were killed after missiles struck the eastern part of the country in what has been described as “a very significant escalation” of the war by Ukraine President Volodymr Zelensky.
NATO – of which Poland is a member state – secretary general Jens Stoltenberg has called an emergency meeting of the alliance’s envoys to discuss the events close to the Ukrainian border in Poland.
If the missiles did originate in Russia, it would mark the first time since the invasion of Ukraine that weapons from the country came down on a NATO member.
NATO is set to hold a crunch meeting at 9am GMT on Wednesday. Poland's national security council will meet again two hours later.
I spoke with President Andrzej Duda of Poland to express my deep condolences for the loss of life in Eastern Poland and offer our full support for Poland's investigation of the explosion.
We will remain in close touch to determine appropriate next steps as it proceeds. pic.twitter.com/m6OSwcHKtD
— President Biden (@POTUS) November 16, 2022
Tweeting from the G20 summit in Indonesia, Joe Biden expressed deep condolences for the loss of life in Eastern Poland and offered full support for Poland's investigation into the explosion.
Biden said it is “unlikely” the missile that killed two people in NATO-ally Poland was fired from Russia, but pledged support for Poland’s investigation into what it had called a “Russian-made” missile.
According to the Associated Press, three US officials said preliminary assessments suggested the missile was fired by Ukrainian forces at an incoming Russian one amid the crushing salvo against Ukraine’s electrical infrastructure on Tuesday. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity.
“There is preliminary information that contests that,” Biden told reporters when asked if the missile had been fired from Russia.
“It is unlikely in the lines of the trajectory that it was fired from Russia, but we’ll see.”
The Guardian, meanwhile, has quoted a spokesperson for French President Emmanuel Macron, encouraging caution as all the facts are established and considered:
"It’s logical that we approach the question with utmost caution... Many countries have the same kind of weapons, so identifying the type of missile won’t necessarily identify who is behind it."
Speaking on Twitter on Wednesday morning, former Russian President and long-term ally of Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Medvedev, said that Tuesday night could provoke a new world war.
"The incident with the Ukrainian-alleged ‘missile strike’ on a Polish farm proves just one thing: waging a hybrid war against Russia, the west moves closer to world war," said Medvedev.
История с украинским «ракетным ударом» по польской ферме доказывает лишь одно: Запад своей гибридной войной с Россией повышает вероятность начала войны мировой.
— Дмитрий Медведев (@MedvedevRussia) November 16, 2022
US President Biden hosted the leaders of the G7 at a large round table in a ballroom in his hotel.
Leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the European Union were present, along with the president of the European Council and the prime ministers of Nato allies Spain and the Netherlands.
A statement from the Polish Foreign Ministry identified the missile as being made in Russia. But Poland’s president was more cautious about its origin, saying that officials did not know for sure who fired it or where it was made.
Mateusz Morawiecki said he is "calling on all Poles to remain calm" in a video address.
"Let us be considerate and let us not be manipulated."
NATO and G7 leaders condemn Russia’s barbaric attacks on cities and infrastructure in Ukraine.
We stand in solidarity with Poland after the explosion at its border.
As the investigation proceeds, we stay in close contact with our partners on next steps.
We stand united.
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) November 16, 2022