Missile strike was probably not a targeted attack

Warsaw, Nusa Dua, Moscow Also the Nato According to its Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, has no indications that the rocket impact in Poland’s border area Ukraine was a deliberate attack. According to preliminary analyses, the incident was probably caused by a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile used against Russian attacks with cruise missiles, Stoltenberg said in Brussels on Wednesday. There is no evidence that Russia offensive military actions against the Nato prepare.

Polish President Andrzej Duda is also no longer assuming a targeted attack on the NATO country. There is no evidence that the missile was fired by Russia. Instead, it is highly likely that it was a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile, Duda said in Warsaw on Wednesday.

“Nothing, absolutely nothing, suggests that it was a deliberate attack Poland acted,” stressed Duda. “What happened, namely that a missile fell on our territory, was not a premeditated act. It was not a targeted missile aimed at Poland.” According to current knowledge, the anti-aircraft missile is a Russian-made S-300 manufactured in the 1970s.

According to the Polish government, the rocket hit the eastern Polish village of Przewodow six kilometers from the border on Tuesday. According to the fire department, two people were killed on a farm. In its war of aggression against Ukraine, Russia fired numerous rockets at Poland’s neighbor on Tuesday.

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Duda explained that in view of the new findings, it was probably not necessary to act under Article 4 of the NATO treaty. However, he did not completely rule out such a procedure.

Article 4 states that NATO members will consult each other if they feel the integrity of their territory is threatened. This is considered a preliminary stage of a procedure under Article 5, which provides for the assistance of the other members in the event of an attack on a NATO member. Stoltenberg did not mention the possibility of such moves in his statement.

Stoltenberg: The incident has no impact on the rebuilding of the east flank

In the meantime, the situation had presented itself differently. Lithuania’s President Gitanas Nauseda had expected Poland to initiate Article 4 NATO consultations. Lithuania will support this, declared Nauseda.

Jens Stoltenberg

The NATO Secretary General praised the member states’ support for Ukraine so far.

(Photo: AP)

On Wednesday, Stoltenberg welcomed the fact that more and more NATO members were supplying Ukraine with modern air defense systems. When asked whether NATO could position itself better on the eastern flank, he replied that the forces had already been increased and that the current incident probably had no influence on that, since it probably did not represent an attack. NATO air surveillance is active 24 hours a day. He did not want to say whether the systems had been triggered during the night.

US President Joe Biden had already stated that the missile is an anti-aircraft missile from Ukraine. At a crisis meeting with other heads of state and government from NATO and G7 countries in Bali, he said there was information about the trajectory that would prevent Russia from shooting it down.

>> Read here: The war is about to reach a dangerous level of escalation – but it is still too early for the NATO alliance

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron spoke of two impacts on Polish soil. So far, most reports have only mentioned a single rocket.

Meanwhile, Ukraine still sees Russia as responsible for the accident. “Russia alone is responsible for the increasing risks in neighboring countries,” wrote the adviser in the Ukrainian presidential office, Mykhailo Podoliak, on Twitter on Wednesday.

It is in Europe’s own interest to protect itself better: “It’s time for Europe to close the sky over Ukraine,” he said.

At the same time, Ukraine offered help in further investigating the impact. “We are ready to further investigate this incident together with our partners,” National Security Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov said in Kyiv. “We also expect from our partners the information on the basis of which the final conclusion was made that it was a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile,” he said.

The Ukrainian Air Force also offered support. “The air force repelled an airstrike. What happened next, whether it was a Russian missile or the debris from two missiles, you have to see what’s on the ground,” spokesman Yuriy Ihnat said.

More: Russia expert on rocket hit in Poland: “Such incidents are the worst case”

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