Poland calls missile attack an ‘unfortunate accident’ — LIVE – TBEN – 11/16/2022


NATO convened an emergency meeting of ambassadors in Brussels on Wednesday after a missile crashed near the Polish town of Przewodow on Tuesday, killing two people.

“We have no indication that this was the result of a deliberate attack, and we have no indication that Russia is preparing offensive military strikes against NATO,” military alliance secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said after the meeting.

However, Stoltenberg noted that the incident occurred as Russia launched a “wave of indiscriminate missile strikes” into Ukraine on Tuesday.

“Our preliminary analysis suggests that the incident was likely caused by a Ukrainian air defense missile launched to defend Ukrainian territory against Russian cruise missile attacks,” he said.

“But let me be clear, this is not Ukraine’s fault. Russia bears the ultimate responsibility if it continues its illegal war against Ukraine.”

Polish President Andrzej Duda also said the missile crash was most likely an “accidental accident” and not a “deliberate attack”.

Poland is one of 30 members of NATO’s military alliance. Each member state has agreed to defend each other against attacks from countries outside the bloc.

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The European Union has also pledged support to Poland. Russia denies any involvement in the missile attack.

The origin of the missile is currently being investigated.

Ukraine seeks access to crash site

A senior Ukrainian defense official has asked for immediate access to the location of the missile blast in Poland and for the information that formed the basis for the allies’ conclusions.

Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, said Kiev is “fully open to a comprehensive study of the situation”.

He also claimed that Ukraine has evidence of a “Russian trace” in the incident, but did not provide details.

‘No call for Article 4 meeting’

If a NATO member comes under attack, it can invoke Article 4 of the NATO treaty, which begins formal consultations among the 30 members on how to respond to a perceived threat.

On Wednesday, Stoltenberg downplayed speculation that NATO members could become involved in a conflict.

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“Allies are in agreement on the approach – there has been no call for an Article 4 meeting,” he said. “That is based on the findings, on the analysis and on the results to date of the ongoing investigation.”

He added: “We agreed on the importance of waiting for the outcome of the investigation.”

Moscow calls for a ‘measured’ response

The Russian Defense Ministry said photos of the wreckage in Poland had been “unambiguously identified by Russian military experts” as coming from an S-300 air defense system, as opposed to one of its own missiles. It produced no more evidence.

Speaking to reporters in Russia on Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov accused some countries of making “baseless claims” about the missile incident and said the US response was more moderate by comparison.

“In this case, attention should be paid to the measured and more professional response from the American side,” he said.

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US President Joe Biden said he would wait for the results of an investigation before blaming any country.

Biden: ‘Unlikely’ missile that hit Poland came from Russia

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Where did the rocket come from?

Initial reports said the missiles had been fired from Russia, but the claim could not be verified.

Preliminary findings from the ongoing investigation now indicate that the missile may have been fired as part of a Ukrainian air defense system, NATO officials said.

US officials also stated that the missile could have been fired by Ukrainian forces at an incoming Russian missile, the The Bharat Express News reported.

However, nothing has been confirmed.

Several countries, including China and Germany, have called for calm pending investigations into the missile strike, with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz warning against drawing “hasty” conclusions about the missile’s origins.

zc, los/sms (TBEN, Reuters, TBEN, dpa)