Poland’s president said on Wednesday that a Ukrainian air defense missile likely caused a deadly explosion in his country the day before, calling it an “unfortunate accident” and alleviating fears that his country and its NATO allies could be drawn into direct conflict with Russia.
President Andriy Duda said that initial indications are that Ukrainian efforts to confront A A barrage of about 100 Russian missiles was reason blast On Tuesday he killed two farm workers – not a direct attack on his country.
“We have no evidence at the moment that it was a missile fired by the Russian forces,” Duda told reporters. “However, there are many indications that it is a missile used by the Ukrainian anti-missile defense.”
The preliminary analysis also indicates that a Ukrainian missile was responsible, said Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO, after meeting with the alliance’s envoys, but that a full investigation is still underway. He stressed that there was no indication of a deliberate attack by Russia or any Russian plans to attack a NATO ally – meaning that NATO’s commitment to collective defense was not in dispute.
But he said that even if the missile was Ukrainian, Russia was to blame.
“Let me be clear: this is not Ukraine’s fault,” Mr. Stoltenberg said. Russia bears ultimate responsibility as it continues its illegal war against Ukraine.
The White House said it had “total confidence” in Poland’s investigation and “saw nothing that contradicted President Duda’s initial assessment”.
“However, whatever the final conclusions may be, it is clear that the party ultimately responsible for this tragic incident is Russia, which unleashed a barrage of missiles into Ukraine with the aim of identifying civilian infrastructure,” the White House said in a statement. “Ukraine has – and has – every right to defend itself.”
Initial reports indicated that the explosion may have been caused by a Russian missile, which prompted intense discussions and even some consternation over whether Russia had somehow attacked a NATO ally, which are possible reasons for recalling the alliance. mutual defense clause, specified in Article 5 of the NATO Treaty. But the findings of the investigation so far appear to allay fears that the explosion could escalate the conflict beyond Ukraine’s borders.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was skeptical of the initial conclusion, saying he had “no doubt it was not our missile”. But he allowed the possibility that he was wrong to pay his country a role in the investigation.
“If this is the use of our air defense, I want that evidence,” he said For Ukrainian news outlets Wednesday.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry S. Peskov, dismissed Moscow as responsible for the blast and complained that some were quite ready to blame Russia – noting that US response An exception was welcome.
“One should not rush to make judgments and statements that could escalate the situation, especially at such crucial moments,” he said.
He added, “In this case, it makes sense to pay attention to the restrained and more professional response from the American side and the American president.”
The explosion was a topic of discussion at a meeting of the UN Security Council on Wednesday. Vasily Nebenzia, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, reiterated the Kremlin’s denials of involvement. Ukraine’s ambassador, Sergei Kisletsya, said that Ukraine supports “a full and transparent investigation to establish all the facts of this tragic incident”.
Key details about what happened have yet to be clarified. There are questions about the trajectory of the missile in question and whether it targeted or hit a Russian missile. Investigators will also focus on what Shows debris from Poland.
“Initial examination of the location indicates that there was no conventional missile explosion there, but it was caused by the missile falling, possibly in conjunction with the explosion of the remaining fuel,” Mr. Duda said.
He also confirmed that the events in Poland came amid a “massive and unprecedented” Russian attack on Ukraine.
He said: “Ukraine has defended itself – which is clear and understandable – also by launching missiles whose mission was to destroy Russian missiles.” So we were dealing with a very serious clash caused by the Russian side, as well as the entire conflict. Yesterday’s confrontation is definitely borne by the Russian side.
Matthew Mbok Begg Contribute to the preparation of reports.
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