US President Joe Biden told allies that the missile that killed two people in Poland was a Ukrainian air defense missile, a NATO source said on Wednesday, according to Reuters.
Earlier, Biden publicly stated that it was unlikely that the missile was launched from Russia. If confirmed, this would likely ease concerns that the first fatal incident in a NATO country since the start of the war in Ukraine could lead to an escalation.
NATO ambassadors were due to hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday to discuss Tuesday’s explosion at a grain dryer in eastern Poland near the Ukrainian border, which came as Russia fired dozens of missiles at Ukrainian towns .
Who fired the missile that hit Poland?
Kiev says it shot down most of the Russian missiles with its own air defense missiles. Ukraine’s Volyn region, located just across the border with Poland, was one of many regions Ukraine says has been targeted by Russian attacks.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said none of its missiles hit within 35 km of the Polish border and that photographs of the wreckage showed elements of a Ukrainian S-300 air defense missile.
Asked if it was too early to say whether the missile was launched from Russia, Biden said: “There is preliminary information that disputes that. I don’t want to say that until we fully investigate, but it’s unlikely, based on the trajectory, that it was fired from Russia, but we’ll see.”
The United States and NATO countries will fully investigate before acting, Biden said in Indonesia after meeting other Western leaders on the sidelines of a summit of the G20 major economies.
Russia denies that the missile belongs to it
The Kremlin said on Wednesday that some countries had made “baseless statements” about the incident, but that Washington had been relatively low-key. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Russia had nothing to do with the incident, which he said was caused by an S-300 air defense system.
The Polish Foreign Ministry said the missile fell in Przewodow, a village located about 6 km from the border with Ukraine.
Polish President Andrzej Duda told reporters that “it was most likely a Russian-made missile,” but that there was no concrete evidence as to who fired it. Both Russia’s long-range missiles and the air defense missiles used by Ukraine are Soviet designs.
Putin is indirectly guilty
A resident who declined to be identified said the two victims were men who were near the weighing area of a grain facility.
Some Western leaders said that regardless of who fired the missile, Russia was ultimately responsible.