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A missile that flew over Poland on Tuesday and killed two people was believed to have come from Ukrainian air defenses that were trying to knock down a barrage of Russian missiles, the Polish government and NATO chief said on Wednesday.

“There is no indication that this was a deliberate att*ck on Poland” He said President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said this meant Poland might not have to plead Article 4 The North Atlantic Treaty, which convenes NATO members to discuss whether a country’s “political independence or security” is threatened.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg chaired an emergency meeting of NATO ambassadors in Brussels on Wednesday to discuss the incident.

After the session, he said information so far suggests that the missile that landed in Poland came from Ukraine’s air defenses, which were fending off a massive Russian att*ck on Tuesday that left the country hit with dozens of missiles that caused blackouts in Ukraine.

“We have no indication that this was a deliberate att*ck,” he said. “And there is no indication that Russia is preparing offensive military action against NATO. Our preliminary analysis suggests that the incident was likely caused by a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile fired to defend Ukrainian territory from Russian missile att*cks.”

Duda said the explosion that killed two people in the village of Przewodów, about six kilometers from the Ukrainian border, was likely caused by the rocket’s fuel, saying it was likely an S-300 anti-aircraft missile produced during the Soviet era.

“There is also no evidence that it was fired by the Russian side,” he said, calling it an “unfortunate incident.”

Earlier, U.S. President Joe Biden said it was “unlikely in trajectory lines that it was fired from Russia, but we’ll see.”

The stakes in figuring out who fired the missile are huge. Poland, as a member of NATO, is covered by the pact’s joint defense commitments, which could directly involve the alliance in the war in Ukraine.

Ukraine’s allies do not blame Kiev for the incident, noting that the country tried to defend itself.

“Let me be clear, this is not Ukraine’s fault. Russia bears the ultimate responsibility,” Stoltenberg said.

“There is no indication that this was a deliberate att*ck on Poland,” said the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda Paweł Supernak/ EPA-EFE

Poland has strengthened its air defenses and authorities are at the site of the missile blast. But Tomasz Szatkowski, Poland’s ambassador to NATO, did not signal that major defense changes were imminent.

“Of course they will fine-tune the system, but there is no reason to make any radical changes,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

Szatkowski noted that the accidental nature of the event made it difficult to detect the incoming missile.

“If this was an intentional att*ck, it is very likely that we would be able to detect it and maybe even counter this attempt,” he said.

And since the authorities concluded that the att*ck was not intentional, Szatkowski said there was no need to activate the NATO Article 4 assembly.

“It needs to be analyzed whether it is proportionate to use this real political – to send a real political signal,” he said. “In the present circumstances, we have assessed that there was no intention of deliberately att*cking Poland.”

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#Stray #missile #hit #Poland #Ukraine #NATO #Warsaw #POLITICO

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