World leaders hold emergency meeting as ‘Russian-made’ missile kills two in Poland

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CNN

World leaders meeting at the G20 summit in Bali are trying to diffuse a possible escalation in Ukraine’s months-long war after a “Russian-made” missile landed in NATO member Poland, killing two people.

The missile landed outside the rural Polish village of Przewodow on Tuesday, about 4 miles west of the Ukrainian border, about the same time Russia launched its largest wave of missile attacks on Ukrainian cities in more than a month.

The circumstances surrounding the incident, which marks the first time a NATO country has been directly affected during the nearly nine-month conflict, remain unclear. It is not known who fired the missile, or from where, although the Polish Foreign Ministry describes it as “Russian-made”.

Both Russian and Ukrainian forces have used Russian-made ammunition during the conflict, with Ukraine deploying Russian-made missiles as part of their air defense system.

Speaking to reporters after holding an emergency meeting with G7 and NATO leaders on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, US President Joe Biden said preliminary information suggested it was “unlikely” that the missile was fired from Russia, but was unable to say conclusively until the investigation is completed.

“We agreed to support the Polish investigation into the explosion… And I’m going to make sure we find out exactly what happened,” Biden said, adding that the leaders expressed condolences for the deaths of two people. “Then we will collectively determine our next step as we investigate and move forward. There was total unanimity among the people at the table,” he added.

Biden said he briefed others on his talks with Polish President Andrzej Duda and with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

In comments earlier on Tuesday, Duda noted that while it was not clear who launched the missile, it was “most likely” produced in Russia. “We are working calmly and in a very calm manner,” Duda said during a speech from the National Security Bureau in Warsaw.

The Kremlin has denied involvement in the blast, with Russia’s defense ministry calling reports from Polish media, which were the first to report the deaths, “a deliberate provocation to escalate the situation,” according to a brief statement late Tuesday. .

It added that the photos of wreckage published by Polish media “from the crime scene in Przewodow village have nothing to do with Russian weapons.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told CNN he had no information about an explosion in Poland.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Tuesday that there are indications that the rocket that landed in Przewodów was a “single act” and that there is no evidence of further rocket attacks.

But while urging calm, Morawiecki said Poland would increase its military readiness and consider activating Article 4 of the NATO treaty. Article 4 is a consultation method that allows members of the 30-nation alliance to raise an issue – usually security – for discussion with the North Atlantic Council, the decision-making body.

Whatever the outcome of the Polish-led investigation, the incident has reinforced long-standing concerns about the risk of battlefield miscalculations that could spark a NATO-Russian conflict.

A witness to the blast described hearing a terrifying “woosh” as the projectile flew over the city and the force of the blast shook nearby windows.

Video taken by a resident, geolocated and confirmed by CNN, shows a large plume of smoke in the center of the village.

At the site of the explosion, local media showed an image of a crater and an overturned agricultural vehicle. CNN cannot independently confirm the photos.

In his speech, Duda said the US would send experts to investigate the site as part of a joint operation.

NATO head Stoltenberg said after a phone call with Duda on Tuesday that it is “important that all the facts are established”

“I have offered my condolences for the loss of life. NATO is monitoring the situation and Allies are in close consultation. It is important that all the facts be established,” Stoltenberg said in a statement.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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