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16 Nov, 2022 13:41

‘No indication’ that Russia plans to attack NATO – Stoltenberg

The head of the US-led bloc said a Ukrainian anti-air missile likely hit Polish territory
‘No indication’ that Russia plans to attack NATO – Stoltenberg

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters on Wednesday that the organization sees “no indication” that Russia is preparing “offensive military actions” against it. While Kiev accused Russia of launching a missile strike on Poland, Stoltenberg said the missile was likely Ukrainian.

Speaking after a meeting of NATO’s North Atlantic Council, Stoltenberg said the explosion that killed two people near the Polish village of Przewowdow on Tuesday “was likely caused by a Ukrainian air defense missile.”

“We have no indication that Russia is preparing offensive military actions against NATO,” he added.

The explosion was instantly blamed on Russia by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, who called it a “Russian attack on the collective security” of NATO, of which Poland is a member. 

However, US President Joe Biden said this explanation was “unlikely,” and Polish President Andrzej Duda opted not to call for urgent consultations under Article 4 of the NATO Treaty, describing the explosion as an “unfortunate accident” likely caused by a Ukrainian missile.

The Russian Defense Ministry reported that analysis of debris at the site of the explosion showed that it was caused by a missile from the S-300 air defense system, a Soviet-era system fielded by Ukraine.

Stoltenberg said that, while the missile was Ukrainian, “this is not Ukraine’s fault.” Russia, he continued, “bears ultimate responsibility, as it continues its illegal war against Ukraine.”

The incident took place amid a barrage of Russian missile strikes on Ukrainian command centers and energy grid targets. The strikes also severed internet and phone connections across the country, and left “about ten million Ukrainians” without electricity, Zelensky said on Wednesday.