Suspected missile attack kills 2 in eastern Poland near Ukraine border
'Shocked by the news of a missile or other ammunition having killed people on Polish territory,’ says European Council president
At least two people were killed Tuesday in a suspected missile attack in eastern Poland not far from the Ukrainian border.
Initial reports from Polish media described it as an explosion.
Poland’s Radio Lublin reported that emergency officials and army troops had reached the scene of the explosion in the village of Przewodow in Lublin district. The cause of the blast had not been ascertained.
This was followed by reports from international media outlets, including the Associated Press, which quoted a senior American official as saying that Russian missiles crossed into NATO member Poland, killing two people.
Shortly after the suspected missile attack, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki convened a high-level meeting on an urgent basis soon after reports of the explosion started coming in, according to government spokesman Piotr Muller.
US blames Russia
Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder said at a news briefing Tuesday that they are aware of reports that two Russian missiles struck a location "inside Poland or the Ukraine border."
"I can tell you that we don’t have any information at this time to corroborate those reports and are looking into this further."
The Pentagon also underscored that the US "will defend every inch of NATO territory."
Later, NATO said the alliance is looking into the reports and closely coordinating with ally Poland.
The first remarks by the European Union on the incident came from European Council President Charles Michel, who said: "We stand with Poland.”
"Shocked by the news of a missile or other ammunition having killed people on Polish territory," he said on Twitter.
A UK Foreign Office spokesman also said they are investigating the reports and liaising closely with allies.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said her country is monitoring the situation "closely and in contact with Poland, NATO allies.”
Russia says no strikes made
Russia’s Ministry of Defense said no strikes were made against targets near the Ukrainian-Polish border by Russian means of destruction.
"The fragments published in hot pursuit by the Polish media from the scene in the village of Przewodow have nothing to do with Russian weapons," it said, adding "statements from Polish media and officials about the alleged fall of 'Russian' missiles are a deliberate provocation in order to escalate the situation."
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said it was Russian missiles that hit Poland.
"Today happened what we warned about a long time ago. Terror is not limited to our national borders. Russian missiles hit Poland," he added.
Escalation in region
Estonia and Latvia expressed concern Tuesday over the alleged Russian missiles hitting Poland, a NATO member.
"Latest news from Poland is most concerning. We are consulting closely with Poland and other Allies," the Estonian Foreign Ministry said on Twitter.
"Estonia is ready to defend every inch of NATO territory. We’re in full solidarity with our close ally Poland," the ministry added.
Latvia’s Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics described the incident as a "dangerous escalation by the Kremlin” in a tweet.
“Russian missiles hitting the territory of the NATO member is a very dangerous escalation by the Kremlin, #Latvia expresses full solidarity with our ally Poland and will support any action deemed appropriate by Poland,” said Rinkevics.
“Russia will bear full responsibility for all the consequences,” he added.
Additionally, Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks said that NATO could provide air defenses to Poland and "part of the territory of Ukraine.”
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