Poland says ‘no indication’ missile attack was ‘deliberate’

Poland has said there is “no evidence” that the missile that hit the country, killing two people, was a “deliberate attack” and there is no evidence that it was launched by Russia.

Moscow denied responsibility for the attack in the village of Przewodów near the Ukrainian border on Tuesday afternoon, which was Russia’s biggest missile attack on Ukraine in weeks. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and some Western countries initially blamed Russia for the missile launch, which Warsaw initially said was an attack by a “Russian missile”.

Photographs posted on social media showed a damaged farm truck lying on its side next to a large crater. Local media reported that the injured were farm workers.

Polish President Andrzej Duda told a news conference on Wednesday: “There is no indication that this was a deliberate attack on Poland,” adding that there was a “high probability” that Ukrainian defense forces had fired at a Russian missile. .

Duda said investigators believe it was “most likely” a Russian S300 missile produced in the 1970s. “We have no evidence that it was launched by Russia,” he added.

Based on the latest findings, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that “most of the evidence we have collected suggests that perhaps the activation of Article 4 [of the Nato treaty] will not be needed”.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, Polish officials indicated that they would invoke Article 4 of the NATO treaty, which deals with discussions about a potential threat to a member of the alliance.

NATO ambassadors met in Brussels on Wednesday to discuss the attack.

The Polish statement echoes a statement from US President Joe Biden after a member of the G7 leaders was hurriedly summoned to the sidelines of the G20 meeting. Biden told reporters that there was “preliminary information” that the missile was fired from Russia.

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, told reporters on Wednesday that the initial demands for Russian responsibility from Kyiv and some Western allies were “another hysterical, overzealous Russian reaction that was not based on real information.”

Russia insisted it had not hit any targets near the Polish border and said the damage to civilians was Kyiv’s fault.

Map showing Przewodów, Poland after a suspected Russian missile killed 2 people

The Ministry of Defense said it had not fired a single shot at Kiev during the fighting, calling the incident in Poland a “deliberate provocation aimed at escalating the situation”.

Peskov, however, praised Biden’s response, which he said was “more restrained and professional” than “the completely hysterical reaction of Poland and a number of other countries.”

Polish media reported that a second rocket explosion was heard on Tuesday afternoon on the Polish side of the border, but neither Poland’s president nor its prime minister mentioned the second launch during their press conference on Wednesday.

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