NATO chief says no missile indicates missile in Poland was deliberate


NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the explosion in eastern Poland that killed two people was likely caused by a Ukrainian air defense missile, but that Russia was responsible in last resort because it triggered the war in Ukraine.

His speech followed an emergency meeting to respond to a grain dryer explosion near the Ukrainian border, which occurred as Russia fired dozens of missiles at towns across Ukraine.

Soltenberg said one of NATO’s main priorities right now is to provide more air defense systems to Ukraine.

Polish President Andrzei Duda said earlier it was “highly probable” the missile was fired by Ukraine’s air defence.

Britain will not rush to judge the origin of the missile

“We are not going to rush to judgment. Our response will always be guided by facts,” British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in a speech to the British Parliament on Wednesday, adding that the investigation into the incident would be led by Poland.

Mr Cleverly’s warning came after NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s press conference in Brussels, where he said “preliminary analysis suggests the incident was likely caused by a Ukrainian air defense fired to defend Ukrainian territory against Russian cruise missile attacks”.

The foreign minister condemned Putin’s “brutal air campaign” over Ukraine on Tuesday, when waves of missiles hit cities across the country.

Ukraine calls for evidence of a ‘Russian trace’

Ukraine wanted a joint study of Tuesday’s incident with its partners and to see the information that served as the basis for its allies.

Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, said Ukraine wanted access to the site of the blast.

Ukraine wants access to an explosion site in Poland that may have been caused by its missile.

Kyiv is “completely open to a thorough study of the situation”, he wrote on the council’s official Facebook page on Wednesday.

Danilov echoed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in blaming Russia’s “missile terror”. Danilov did not provide any details of the evidence he was citing when he referred to a “Russian trace” behind the incident.

Asked whether Poland would grant Ukraine access to the blast site and agree to a joint study, Polish Foreign Ministry spokesman Lukasz Jasina wrote via email: “We don’t let’s not comment on this case”.

—with the AAP

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