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17 Nov, 2022 21:20

Poland comments on Ukraine’s role in missile investigation

Kiev officials can be allowed at the explosion site, but involvement in the probe is problematic, President Andrzej Duda has said
Poland comments on Ukraine’s role in missile investigation

Warsaw is not against Ukrainian officials observing the investigation into the missile strike that killed two Polish villagers earlier this week, but Kiev’s participation in the probe would have to be regulated by international law and mutual treaties, Polish President Andrzej Duda said on Thursday.

“If the guests from Ukraine wish to see investigative actions, this can be shown to them,” Duda noted at a press briefing.

Poland, Russia and the US have all identified the missile that struck Przewodow, a village near the border with Ukraine, as coming from a S-300 air defense system in Ukrainian service. Kiev has repeatedly denied this, insisting that Ukrainian experts need to participate in any investigation to ensure its fairness.

Duda’s head of chancellery, Grazyna Ignaczak-Bandych, told the news portal i.pl that “we can say with high probability that the Ukrainians will be able to see the site of the explosion.”

Meanwhile, Duda’s top foreign policy aide, Jakub Kumoch, tweeted that “Ukrainian experts are admitted to the site.” He also thanked the US and Ukrainian ambassadors to Poland for their cooperation and said Ukraine was “not to blame for defending itself against Russia.”

According to the news portal Gazeta, the deputy speaker of the Polish parliament, Ryszard Terlecki, said that “experts from Ukraine will also examine the explosion site in Przewodow.” Terlecki also said Russia was ultimately to blame for the incident and expressed hope “the whole matter will be settled calmly.”

“We take the investigation of this incident very seriously,” said Terlecki.  

When RMF Radio sent a reporter to the National Prosecutor’s Office, however, they were unable to confirm any reports about Ukrainian participation. Prosecutor General Zbigniew Ziobro only said that the investigators are conducting “intensive and dynamic” activities with the focus on collecting evidence. RMF was unable to confirm that the investigation had been formally initiated, and on what legal basis.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has demanded that Kiev be involved in the probe, while insisting the missile wasn’t one of his. Facing backlash, he partly backtracked on Thursday, saying he couldn’t be “100% certain” what happened.