What is known about the missile incident in Poland and why world leaders called for “the utmost caution”

What is known about the missile incident in Poland and why world leaders called for “the utmost caution”

An error in the Ukrainian air defense systems could be the cause of the explosion that killed two people in Poland, according to NATO indications.

The explosion that killed two people in Poland near the Ukrainian border on Tuesday was not a “deliberate attack” and there is no indication that Russia plans to attack NATO territory, the Atlantic alliance’s secretary-general has said. .

The incident was possibly one of the most tense moments for NATO since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

An investigation is underway to clarify the facts, but the agency considers that it is “likely” that the incident was caused by the Ukrainian anti-aircraft defenses, Jens Stoltenberg explained.

Poland, which had initially said that it was a “Russian-made” missile, now also ensures that the evidence points to Ukrainian defense systems, as confirmed by its president, Andrzej Duda.

Poland is a member of NATO and, in case of being attacked, it must be defended by the countries of the organization, which would raise the conflict to a completely different scale.

At the time of the explosion, Ukraine was undergoing the most intense wave of Russian bombardment since the conflict began, in which more than 100 missiles were launched against civilian targets and infrastructure in different parts of the country.

It is now believed that its defense systems for intercepting Russian missiles may have gone off course.

NATO and its secretary general, however, do not consider that Ukraine is responsible for trying to defend itself, and have tried to defuse the tension.

“Russia bears the ultimate responsibility for maintaining its illegal war against Ukraine,” Stoltenberg charged.

The explosion took place on a farm in the Polish town of Przewodów. Immediately afterwards, the Polish authorities called the Russian ambassador to Poland for consultations to “give immediate detailed explanations” of what had happened.

From the beginning, however, NATO and the Polish government avoided blaming Russia for the explosion. Both referred to what happened as a “tragic incident”, and world leaders such as the presidents of the US, France or the British prime minister called for “the utmost caution”.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki himself urged people to remain calm on Tuesday night.

“I call on all Poles to remain calm in the face of this tragedy… We must act with restraint and caution,” Morawiecki said after an emergency meeting held by the Polish National Security Council to discuss the situation.

Ukraine, however, was quick to blame Moscow for the attack, calling for NATO’s involvement in the conflict.

The fears
The ambassadors of the Atlantic Alliance were summoned urgently to analyze what happened, given the danger that an attack on NATO territory could expand the conflict.

“One of the most persistent fears since the war began last February has been precisely the possibility that the conflict will drastically increase its scope”, analyzes Matthew Sussex, from the Center for Strategic and Defense Studies at the Australian National University .

Those fears are legitimate, he says in an article in “The Conversation,” “especially given the bellicose rhetoric and brinkmanship emanating from the Kremlin.”

Sussex is of the opinion that, although concerns about a possible nuclear escalation have dominated the headlines, “the surest path to a larger war would be an attack, unintentional or otherwise, against a NATO state. If NATO members got involved, it would spark what Kremlin propagandists have been saying for months: an existential showdown between Russia and Western Europe.

But caution has prevailed.

Polish President Andrzej Duda said Wednesday that there is no indication that the missile that hit the farm was an intentional attack on Poland, and that it was “very likely” that it was caused by Ukrainian anti-aircraft defenses. It is, he said at a press conference, an “unfortunate incident”.

At no time, as confirmed by NATO’s secretary general, has Poland invoked Article 4 of the alliance’s treaty, which members can use if they feel their security is threatened.

Ukraine on Tuesday denied responsibility for the incident, but has asked for “immediate access to the explosion site” and to carry out a “joint investigation” into the incident, the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council said. Oleksyi Danilov on Twitter.

The first to ask for caution was the US president, Joe Biden, who on Tuesday said that “it was unlikely that, due to the trajectory, it would be shot from Russia,” he told reporters from Bali, where the G summit was being held. -twenty.

Russia, which from the beginning has denied responsibility for the attack, praised Biden’s words.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also said it was important to “establish the facts,” but said “none of this would have happened without the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” and accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of launching indiscriminate attacks on civilians.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.