Biden says it's 'unlikely' the missile that hit Poland 'was fired from Russia, but we'll see'
Poland said early Wednesday that at least one Russian-made missiles struck the Polis village of Przewodów, about 15 miles west of the Ukraine border, killing two people. Since Poland is a NATO member, a Russian strike on its territory — accidental or intentional — would draw the Western military alliance more directly into Russia's war in Ukraine. NATO is working with Poland to investigate the strike, which coincided with a barrage of missiles Russia fired across Ukraine late Tuesday.
President Biden, attending a G-20 summit in Bali, convened the leaders of other NATO countries, plus G-7 allies, to discuss the situation Wednesday morning. Afterward he condemned Russia's missile attack on Ukraine, calling it "totally unconscionable." But when asked if the missile that hit Poland was fired by Russia, he said "there is preliminary information that contests that. I don't want to say that until we complete the investigation. But it's unlikely, from the lines of the trajectory, that it was fired from Russia, but we'll see."
"We support Ukraine fully in this moment," Biden said. "We have since the start of this conflict, and we'll continue to do whatever it takes to give them the capacity to defend themselves."
Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky said Russia fired 85 cruise missiles at Ukraine on Tuesday, most of them aimed at energy facilities, leaving much of the country — and part of Moldova — in darkness. "Most of the hits were recorded in the center and in the north of the country. In the capital, the situation is very difficult," a senior Ukrainian official, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, told The Associated Press. Tymoshenko said Ukrainian air defenses shot down 70 missiles.
The Polish Foreign Ministry and a senior U.S. intelligence official told AP that the missile that struck Poland was Russian-made, but Polish President Andrzej Duda said only that it was "most probably" made in Russia. "We are acting with calm," he said. "This is a difficult situation." NATO referred to the blast a "tragic incident," not an attack.
Russia's defense ministry said it did not strike Poland, and Polish officials said they have no "clear evidence" of who fired the missile, The Washington Post reports. "A number of countries use Soviet-era weapons, including Ukraine." Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said suggestions a Ukrainian air defense missile struck Poland are "not true," calling it a "conspiracy theory" and "Russian propaganda."