US President Joe Biden believes that it was unlikely that the missile that killed two people in Poland was fired from Russia.
Speaking at the G20 meeting in Bali, he said there is preliminary information that contests that. "I don't want to say that until we completely investigate. But it is unlikely in the minds of its trajectory that it was fired from Russia."
However, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs described the missile as a "Russian-made" missile. But the Polish President Andrzej Duda showed some restraint saying that it "most probably" was Russian and that officials still can't confirm who fired the missile. "We do not have any conclusive evidence at the moment as to who launched this missile," he told reporters. "It was most likely a Russian-made missile, but this is still under investigation at the moment."
The Polish government is investigating and also raising its level of military preparedness.
Missile Lands Near Polish Village
The missile landed just outside the rural Polish village of Przewodow, about four miles west from the Ukrainian border on Tuesday. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said there was an explosion in Przewodow, as a result of which two of their compatriots lost their lives. He offered condolences to the victims' families and their loved ones. Morawiecki outlined that Poland will boost the combat readiness of selected units of the Polish armed forces, with emphasis on airspace monitoring.
There are also talks of triggering Article 4 of the NATO charter, under which Poland would be able to summon other member states for crash talks if it feels its territorial integrity or security has been threatened.
The incident occurred roughly the same time as Russia launched its biggest wave of missile attacks on Ukrainian cities. This is the first instance that a NATO country has been struck directly during the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. Russia continues with its barrage of missiles on Ukraine's energy facilities. The latest barrage also affected Moldova, which reported massive power outages after the missiles knocked out a key power line that supplies the small nation.
Russia's deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Dmitry Polyanskiy, highlighted the size of the crater left by the blast in Poland as evidence that it could not have been a direct rocket strike. He tweeted that it's obvious that impact of direct rocket strike would be significantly bigger than what the pictures show.
But Kyiv blames Russia for the Poland missile strike. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed condolences over the death of Polish citizens from Russian missile terror. "Ukraine, Poland, all of Europe and the world must be fully protected from terrorist Russia."
Attempts to Diffuse Escalation
The G20 leaders that have gathered for the summit in Bali, Indonesia, are trying to diffuse a potential escalation in the Russia-Ukraine war that is now heading into its ninth month. Poland and NATO, in their respective statements, have used language that suggests that they are "not treating the missile strike" as intentional Russian attack – at least for now. There are fears that Putin's war on Ukraine could spread and escalate a regional conflict into a wider war.
As such, the G20 meeting underscored the possibility that the attack represented a Russian assault on NATO territory, and might require invocation of NATO's collective self-defence articles. Leaders of Canada, the EU, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the Netherlands, US and the UK, in a joint statement, agreed to remain in close touch to determine appropriate next steps as the investigation proceeds. "We offer full support for and assistance with Poland's ongoing investigation."