After investigation, officials from NATO and the Polish government have said they believe the missile that landed in Poland from Ukraine on Tuesday was likely an accident that occurred during a fiery back and forth as Russia launched an offensive attack on Ukrainian cities close to the Polish border.
The Polish government told TVN24 on Thursday there are “many indications that one of the [Ukrainian] missiles used to shoot down a Russian missile missed the target. Its self-destruct system did not work, and this missile unfortunately led to a tragedy.”
While the missile entering Poland – and NATO territory – is a first in the Russia-Ukraine conflict that had the potential to escalate the situation to an international level, NATO officials agree that the missile was likely a “malfunction.”
“Our preliminary analysis suggests that the incident was likely caused by the Ukrainian air defense missile fired to defend Ukrainian territory against Russian cruise missile attacks,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. “But let me be clear, this is not Ukraine’s fault. Russia bears ultimate responsibility, as it continues its illegal war against Ukraine.”
Both Russia and Ukraine have denied responsibility for firing the missile, which landed in the Polish farming village of Przewodow overnight on Tuesday, prompting concerns of NATO invoking Article 5 of the NATO Treaty, which essentially recognizes an attack on one NATO member an attack on all members.
US President Joe Biden, who called an emergency meeting of leaders at the G20 Summit in Bali has said the initial indication is that there was no intent to fire a missile into Polish territory.
“I don’t want to say that [it was fired from Russia] until we completely investigate,” Biden said. “It’s unlikely in the minds of the trajectory that it was fired from Russia. But we’ll see.”
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: AP NEWS
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