The Russian-made missile that landed in Poland, killing two people, may have been fired by Ukrainian forces in an attempt to fend off Moscow’s latest airstrike on the war-torn country.
The revelation, based on early assessments into the Tuesday blast on Polish soil, was reported by the Associated Press early Wednesday, citing three US officials, and came after President Biden said it was “unlikely” the missile was fired by Russia.
Polish President Andrzej Duda has claimed the projectile was Russian made, but stopped short of saying who he believes it was fired by.
Ukraine still has Soviet and Russian-made weapons in its arsenal, including the S-300 air-defense missile system, lending credence to the preliminary findings suggesting the projectile that hit Poland could have come from its soil.
The missile, which struck near the Polish village of Przewodów, was fired amid Russia’s latest salvo of nearly 100 missiles at Ukraine, targeting civilian infrastructure in the capital, Kyiv.
But Russia has denied any involvement in the missile that hit Poland.
The strike caused international alarm, with Warsaw considering whether to invoke NATO Article 4, which states that members can bring any issue of concern, especially regarding security, up for discussion before the North Atlantic Council.
An “emergency” meeting of the Group of Seven and NATO leaders was also convened by Biden, 79, to discuss the deadly explosion.
Following the meeting, Biden, who’s in Indonesia for the G20 summit, told reporters that a preliminary analysis of the missile’s trajectory appears to “contest” initial speculation that it was fired by Vladimir Putin’s invading force.
When asked about the possibility of Poland invoking Article 4 or Article 5, which espouses the principle of collective defense among NATO members, Biden said a meeting of ambassadors to the alliance would be held soon, though he did not give a specific timetable.
With Post wires