NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday that a preliminary investigation suggested the missile that struck Poland, killing two on Tuesday, likely came from Ukraine’s air defense system, but said Russia was “ultimately responsible.” “of the deaths.
“This is not Ukraine’s fault,” he told reporters. “Russia is reasonable about what happened yesterday because it is a direct result of the ongoing war.”
“Ukraine has the right to shoot down those missiles that are targeting Ukrainian cities,” he added.
POLISH PRESIDENT SAYS ‘NON-TEST’ MISSILE THAT LANDED ON NATO TERRITORY WAS FIRED BY RUSSIA
Concerns rose Tuesday after an anonymous US official told the Associated Press that a Russian missile landed on NATO territory, prompting leaders of the military alliance to scramble to find out what happened.
President Biden and Western leaders have repeatedly warned Russia against expanding its war effort in Europe and have vowed to defend “every inch” of NATO territory, raising concerns that the missile attack could spark a massive escalation.
Stoltenberg sought to alleviate concerns regarding any attempt by Russia to deliberately attack NATO nations, saying the alliance has land, air and sea defense systems on constant alert.
But journalists questioned why the rocket that killed two yesterday was not blocked by one of these defenses.
BIDEN SAYS MISSILE THAT KILLED 2 PEOPLE IN POLAND WAS ‘IMPOSSIBLE’ FIRED FROM RUSSIA ON ‘MINDS OF THE TRAJECTORY’
“The attacks, the ballistic missiles, the cruise missiles have special characteristics that we track and monitor and then we judge whether it is an attack or something else,” Stoltenberg told reporters. “That missile [didn’t] have the characteristics of an attack”.
Stoltenberg said NATO allies offered their “deepest condolences for the tragic loss of life” during a meeting on Wednesday, but stood firm in their position to back Kyiv.
“They expressed their strong solidarity with our valued ally Poland and made it clear that we will continue to support Ukraine in its right to self-defense,” he added. “Russia must stop this senseless war.”
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The NATO chief said defense leaders would discuss reinforcing Ukrainian air defense systems at a meeting with Ukraine’s Defense Contact Group on Wednesday in a bid to prevent further accidents of this nature, but also while Russia increases your airstrikes while your troops are on the ground. .
“The best way to prevent something like this from happening again is for Russia to stop this war,” Stoltenberg concluded.