The missiles that killed two people in Poland may not have been fired from Russia, US President Joe Biden said on Wednesday. Tuesday’s blast in a Polish village near the border with Ukraine came after Russia launched a wave of missile attacks against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
Poland’s foreign ministry said the missiles landed in Perzevodov – about 6 kilometers from the border with Ukraine.
Russia denied responsibility for the explosion, although Polish officials said the missiles were Russian-made.
Poland is a member of NATO, and a Russian attack on its territory would risk expanding the conflict beyond Ukraine, as NATO is committed to collective defense.Article 5 of the NATO Treaty states that an attack on a member country of the military alliance is an attack on all.
Biden called a meeting of leaders gathered in Bali, Indonesia for the summit of the group of the most industrialized countries, the G20.
Asked if it was too early to say that the missiles that fell in Poland were fired by Russia, Biden said:
“There is preliminary information that contradicts this. I don’t want to say this until we fully investigate, but it’s unlikely on the trajectory that they were dropped from Russia. But we will see”.
Biden said the United States and other NATO countries would conduct full investigations before acting.
The explosion in Poland happened after Russia attacked several Ukrainian cities with missiles.
Kiev said Tuesday’s attacks were their worst wave in nearly nine months of war.
Several rockets also hit Lviv, which is less than 80 kilometers from the border with Poland.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russian missiles hit Poland, significantly escalating the conflict. However, he did not present any evidence of Russia’s involvement.
“All of Europe and the world must be fully protected from terrorist Russia,” Zelensky wrote on Twitter after a phone call with Polish President Andrzej Duda.
Two European diplomats said Poland requested a NATO meeting, expected to be held later today, under Article 4 of the NATO Treaty for consultations among allies.
Poland also increased the readiness of some military units, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said.
Morawiecki called on Poles to remain calm, while President Duda said there was no concrete evidence to show who fired the rockets.
During a phone call, Biden told Duda that Washington has a “strong commitment to NATO” and that it would support Poland’s investigations, the White House said.
The Associated Press news agency earlier quoted a senior US intelligence official as saying that the explosion in Poland was the result of Russian missiles passing through the country.
But in Washington, the Pentagon, the White House and the US State Department said they could not confirm these reports and were working with the Polish government to gather more information.
Germany and Canada said they were monitoring the situation, and the European Union, the Netherlands and Norway said they were looking for more details./REL