A civilian car is turned back by police officers at the scene of a missile strike in Przewodow, Poland. Photograph: Omar Marques/Getty Images
US president Joe Biden said the missile that landed in Poland, killing two people, was unlikely to have been fired from Russia due to its trajectory.
Poland and fellow Nato states held consultations after the possible missile strike on a Polish village of Przewodow, about 10km from the border with Ukraine.
Speaking to reporters after an emergency meeting with Nato and G7 leaders in Bali. Mr Biden said: “I’m going to make sure we figure out exactly what happened ... Then we’re going to figure out our next step.”
Responding to a question as to whether the missile was fired from Russia, Mr Biden said: There is preliminary information that contests that. I don’t want to say that until we completely investigate. But it is unlikely in the lines of the trajectory that it was fired from Russia, but we’ll see.”
US officials are suggesting the missile that hit Poland was fired by Ukrainian forces at an incoming Russian missile, according to the Associated Press news agency.
The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs initially described the missile as “Russian-made”, but that could include S-300 ground-to-air missiles in the possession of Ukraine.
Some analysts said they believed photographs of missile debris at the scene showed a Ukrainian S-300 air defence system.
Poland’s president, Andrzej Duda, has said there is so far no “conclusive evidence” as to who launched a missile into Polish territory but it is “most likely” to have been Russian-made.
Mr Duda has said that the explosion in Przewodów was a “one-off incident” and there are “no indications” that it is going to happen again. We do not have any conclusive evidence at the moment as to who launched this missile ... it was most likely a Russian-made missile, but this is all still under investigation at the moment,” Mr Duda told reporters.
Earlier Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that Poland would increase surveillance of its airspace following the incident. “We decided to increase the combat readiness of selected units of the Polish armed forces, with particular emphasis on airspace monitoring,” Mr Morawiecki said.
Mr Morawiecki also asked for people to be restrained. “I call on all Poles to remain calm around this tragedy. Let’s be prudent, let’s not let ourselves be manipulated. “We need to be ready to face fake news, propaganda efforts.”
Russia has denied its missiles crossed into Poland, calling the reports a “deliberate provocation”.
A Nato aircraft flying above Polish airspace on Tuesday reportedly tracked the missile that landed in its territory, an alliance military official told CNN on Tuesday.
Nato and global leaders are set to meet on Wednesday after the incident.
Two European diplomats said Poland requested the Nato meeting under the treaty’s Article 4, which allows for all Nato allies to be brought together when the “territorial integrity, political independence or security” of any member has been threatened.
Poland’s government said it had summoned Moscow’s ambassador to Poland to provide an explanation.
A deliberate attack on a Nato member could in theory lead to the invocation of the alliance’s article 5, which states that an attack on one member of the military alliance is considered an attack against all. But the Nato treaty is highly unlikely to be triggered by an accidental attack.
The United Nations has said it is “absolutely essential” to avoid escalating the war in Ukraine in light of the explosion from a fallen missile in Poland. – Guardian