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16th Nov 2022

US officials: Missile that hit Poland was fired by Ukrainian forces

Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has urged his compatriots to remain calm

US officials have suggested that the missile that hit Poland could have been fired by Ukrainian forces at an incoming Russian missile.

Two people were killed after missiles struck the eastern part of the country in what has been described as “a very significant escalation” of the war by Volodymr Zelensky.

Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg has called an emergency meeting of the alliance’s envoys to discuss the events close to the Ukrainian border in Poland.

If the missiles did originate in Russia, it would mark the first time since the invasion of Ukraine that weapons from the country came down on a Nato member.

Tweeting from the G20 summit in Indonesia, Joe Biden expressed deep condolences for the loss of life in Eastern Poland and offered full support for Poland’s investigation into the explosion.

Biden said it is “unlikely” the missile that killed two people in Nato-ally Poland was fired from Russia, but pledged support for Poland’s investigation into what it had called a “Russian-made” missile.

Three US officials said preliminary assessments suggested the missile was fired by Ukrainian forces at an incoming Russian one amid the crushing salvo against Ukraine’s electrical infrastructure on Tuesday. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity.

“There is preliminary information that contests that,” Biden told reporters when asked if the missile had been fired from Russia.

“It is unlikely in the lines of the trajectory that it was fired from Russia, but we’ll see.”

Biden hosted the leaders of the G7 at a large round table in a ballroom in his hotel.

Leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the European Union were present, along with the president of the European Council and the prime ministers of Nato allies Spain and the Netherlands.

A statement from the Polish Foreign Ministry identified the missile as being made in Russia. But Poland’s president was more cautious about its origin, saying that officials did not know for sure who fired it or where it was made.

Mateusz Morawiecki said he is “calling on all Poles to remain calm” in a video address.

“Let us be considerate and let us not be manipulated.”

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