- Biden says it was “unlikely” that it was fired from Russia
- Moscow says the missile is a Ukrainian S-300 air defense system
WARSAW, Nov 16 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden told allies that the missile that killed two people in Poland was a Ukrainian air defense missile, a NATO source said on Wednesday.
Earlier, Biden publicly stated that the missile may not have been sent from Russia. If confirmed, it may reduce the concern that the first death in a NATO country since the beginning of the war in Ukraine will increase.
NATO envoys were due to hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday to discuss Sunday’s explosion at a grain dryer in eastern Poland near the Ukrainian border, which occurred during firing Russia has fired several missiles at cities across Ukraine.
Kyiv says it shot down most of the incoming Russian missiles with its own air defense missiles. Ukraine’s Volyn region, just across the border from Poland, is one of several Ukrainian regions targeted by Russian attacks.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said none of its missiles came closer than 35 kilometers (20 miles) from Polish territory, and photos of the wreckage showed elements of a Ukrainian S-300 air defense missile.
Asked if it was too early to say whether the missile had been fired from Russia, Biden said: “It’s a preliminary report that it’s in the race. I don’t want to say that we’re going to really investigate, but it’s probably not in along the lines of the route driven from Russia, but we’ll see.”
The United States and NATO countries will be closely monitored before the deal, Biden said in Indonesia after meeting with other Western leaders on the sidelines of the G20 summit.
The Kremlin said on Wednesday that some countries had made “unnecessary comments” about the incident, but Washington was prepared to refrain. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Russia was not involved in the incident, which he said was caused by the S-300 air defense system.
Poland’s Interior Ministry said the rocket landed in Przewodow, a village about 6 km (4 miles) from the Ukrainian border.
Polish President Andrzej Duda told reporters that it was “most likely a Russian-made missile”, but there was no concrete evidence of who fired it. Russian long-range missiles and air defense missiles used by Ukraine use Soviet designs.
A resident, who did not want to be named, said the two men were people near the barn’s weighing area.
Some Western officials said that whoever fired the missile, Russia was responsible.
“They emphasized that, regardless of the outcome of that investigation, Putin’s attack on Ukraine was the main culprit for the ongoing violence,” British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s office said after the meeting between per Sunak and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Written by Peter Graff Editing by John Stonestreet and Jon Boyle
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