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Montevideo, February 6th 2023 - 10:20 UTC

 

 

Missiles crisis: Reports of war spreading to Poland cooled down

Wednesday, November 16th 2022 - 19:54 UTC
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Probably Russian-built, the missiles hitting Poland were most likely launched by Ukraine's anti-aircraft defense Probably Russian-built, the missiles hitting Poland were most likely launched by Ukraine's anti-aircraft defense

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was placed under alert early Wednesday after two missiles hit Przewodow, a town in eastern Poland near the Ukrainian border, killing two people. The incident also led most activities at the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia, to be canceled as world leaders needed to focus on this more urgent matter.

Earlier reports blamed Russia for the blast. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the two Russian missiles falling in Polish territory meant “a very significant escalation.” But later in the day, most western powers were admitting they had been launched by the Ukrainian defense forces, although Poland's President Andrzej Duda said the missile was “most probably Russian-made”.

Ambassadors to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) began an emergency meeting in Brussels Wednesday to discuss the case after being summoned by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday night.

The blasts came as Russia launched widespread airstrikes across Ukraine and immediately raised concerns and confusion over whether Russia the war could be broadening, potentially dragging NATO into the conflict. But US sources said preliminary assessments suggested the missile was fired by Ukrainian forces against an incoming Russian projectile. US President Joseph Biden said it was “unlikely” it had been fired from Russia. NATO chief spokeswoman Oana Lungescu described the explosion as a “tragic incident.”

“We offer our full support and assistance to Poland's ongoing investigation. We agreed to remain in close contact to determine appropriate next steps as the investigation progresses,” the G7 leaders said on the sidelines of G20 talks in Indonesia.

“We reaffirm our strong support for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people in the face of ongoing Russian aggression, as well as our continued readiness to hold Russia accountable for its brazen attacks on Ukrainian communities,” they added.

Since President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops into Ukraine, NATO has been trying to avoid being dragged into a major war. Although some NATO member countries are providing weapons and other support, NATO as an organization is not. The military alliance has focused on building up its forces in member countries near the borders of Russia and Ukraine to deter Putin from attacking them next.

“Absolutely nothing indicates that this was an intentional attack against Poland,” Duda told reporters in Warsaw after an emergency meeting of the Polish National Security Council.

Stoltenberg said the explosion in Poland “was probably the result of Ukrainian anti-aircraft fire, but that Russia bore the ”'ultimate responsibility for the war.“

”An investigation into this incident is underway and we must await its outcome... But we have no indication that it was the result of a deliberate attack,“ Stoltenberg said after chairing a meeting of NATO ambassadors.

Poland's military was on high alert Wednesday after at least two people died in a missile strike on a village near the border with Ukraine. Western leaders held an emergency meeting to discuss the incident on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali, urging a cautious reaction to the apparent attack.

”The missile strikes in Poland last night are being fully investigated by our intelligence service, which is in close contact with NATO partner services,“ Belgium's Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder said in a statement.

Moscow's ambassador to Warsaw has been summoned to provide ”immediate detailed explanations.“

Biden spoke by phone with Duda, offering ”full US support for and assistance with Poland's investigation“, the White House said. The two leaders agreed to ”remain in close touch to determine appropriate next steps as the investigation proceeds”, it added. French President Emmanuel Macron joined British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also expressed their solidarity with Poland. Biden also spoke with Stoltenberg about the incident.

Categories: Politics, International.
Tags: Poland, Russia, Ukraine.

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