Ukraine lied to NATO over missile strike – FT
Ukraine has been accused of “openly lying” about a missile that hit Poland killing two civilians, earlier this week, the Financial Times reported on Thursday citing an unnamed diplomat from a NATO country.
Ukraine rushed to pin the blame on Moscow, while the Russian Ministry of Defense stated that footage from the site showed “elements of a missile from an S-300 air defense system used by the Air Force of Ukraine.”
“This is getting ridiculous,” the official told the outlet on Wednesday. “The Ukrainians are destroying our confidence in them. Nobody is blaming Ukraine and they are openly lying. This is more destructive than the missile,” the source reportedly said.
The comments come in response to President Vladimir Zelensky claiming that Ukraine had nothing to do with the missile that struck Przewodow, Poland, on Tuesday, insisting that it was Russia that launched the weapon.
Zelensky has insisted that Ukrainian investigators be given access to the crash site, stating that if it turns out that it was indeed a Ukrainian rocket then Kiev would have to apologize. “But, sorry, first I want an investigation, access, the data you have - we want to have this,” Zelensky said, addressing his Western partners.
NATO, the US and Poland have stated that there is no evidence to suggest Russia’s direct involvement in the incident. Polish President Andrzej Duda has indicated that the projectile was likely a Ukrainian air defense missile – an opinion that was seconded by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and US Defense secretary Lloyd Austin.
Moscow, meanwhile, has condemned efforts to paint it as the perpetrator, saying such statements could only be seen as an attempt to trigger a direct clash between Russia and NATO.
After several media outlets as well as Ukrainian and Polish officials initially blamed Russia for the attack, Moscow’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, stated that if it had not been for the evidence in the form of photos from the scene, “all facts would have been concealed from the public, and Russia would have been proclaimed the guilty side.”
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has also stated that the initial claims made by Kiev and other Western officials were “yet another hysterical, rabidly Russophobic reaction that was not based on any real information.”