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At G-20, Biden says ‘unlikely’ that Russia fired missile on Poland 

US President Joe Biden spoke with his Polish counterpart Andrzej Sebastian Duda on Wednesday (Image courtesy: Twitter/@POTUS)

Hours after Moscow denied its involvement in a missile strike in eastern Poland close to the border with Ukraine, US President Joe Biden said that it was “unlikely” that the weapon was fired from Russian territory.

As massive shelling took place on the critical infrastructure of the Ukrainian armed forces on Tuesday, Warsaw claimed that a Russia-made missile also dropped on the village of Przewodow in the Hrubieszow district of Lubelskie province which resulted in the death of its two citizens on Tuesday.

Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau summoned the Russian ambassador and demanded an “immediate and detailed explanation” on the missile strike even as Russia termed the statements of the Polish media and officials as a “deliberate provocation” in order to escalate the situation.

“No strikes were made against targets near the Ukrainian-Polish state border by Russian means of destruction. The wreckage published in hot pursuit by the Polish media from the scene in the village of Przewoduv has nothing to do with Russian weapons,” the Russian Defence Ministry said in a statement.

NATO
Biden and NATO leaders meet in Bali early Wednesday to discuss the explosion in Eastern Poland near the Ukrainian border (Image courtesy: Twitter/@POTUS)

In faraway Bali, the leaders of Canada, the European Commission, the European Council, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States met on the margins of the G20 Summit and issued a joint statement condemning the “barbaric” Russian missile attacks.

“We discussed the explosion that took place in the eastern part of Poland near the border with Ukraine. We offer our full support for and assistance with Poland’s ongoing investigation. We agree to remain in close touch to determine appropriate next steps as the investigation proceeds,” said the NATO and G7 Leaders in their joint statement.

Addressing media at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Bali after holding an emergency meeting with Polish President Andrzej Sebastian Duda and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Biden assured that the US will “figure out exactly what happened” regarding the missile which landed in the NATO member country.

“There is preliminary information that contests that. I don’t want to say that until we completely investigate. But it is — I — it’s unlikely, in the minds of the trajectory, that it was fired from Russia. But we’ll see. We’ll see,” said Biden while replying to a reporter’s question on whether the missile was fired from Russia.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken dialled both Rau and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba as Washington assessed the latest developments and the next steps.

“The Secretary and Foreign Minister discussed Ukraine’s needs, including for energy security and air defence. They also discussed ongoing assessments of an explosion that took two lives in Poland, and they pledged to remain closely coordinated in the coming days,” said US State Department spokesperson Ned Price after the Blinken-Kuleba call.

With Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg scheduled to chair an emergency meeting of NATO ambassadors today, the transatlantic military alliance too said that the allies are closely consulting and monitoring the situation.

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