UPDATE: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that a preliminary investigation indicated that a missile that struck Poland was likely from Ukrainian air defense.
“We have no indication that this was a result of a deliberate attack, and we have no indication that Russia is preparing offensive military action against NATO,” Stoltenberg said.
He said that Russia still bears responsibility given that it has been engaged in a barrage of attacks on Russian cities.
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PREVIOUSLY, Tuesday, 5:45 PM PT President Joe Biden told reporters that it was “unlikely” that a missile that struck Poland was fired from Russia.
“We are going to figure out exactly what happened,” he said.
PREVIOUSLY, 5:15 PM PT: President Joe Biden is holding an emergency meeting with world leaders in Bali following the missile hit that entered Poland, killing two people.
Networks covered a brief moment of Biden gathered with other leaders, but he did not make remarks.
Biden may offer comment after the meeting is over, raising the possibility of a split screen moment, with former President Donald Trump expected to announce another presidential bid at 6 PM PT.
The leaders at the emergency meeting included German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Furnio, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, EU President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel.
PREVIOUSLY, 3 PM PT : Poland’s president Andrzej Duda said that they “have no conclusive evidence at this time as to who launched this missile. Investigations are underway. It was most likely a Russian-made rocket.”
PREVIOUSLY, 2 PM PT: Following reports of Russian missiles hitting Poland, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called it an “attack on collective security” and a “significant escalation.”
He wrote on Twitter, “The Russian Federation takes lives wherever it can reach. Today, this Russian attack on collective security in the Euro-Atlantic is a significant escalation. People died. My sincere condolences to [Polish] brothers and sisters! Ukraine will always be with you. The terror of the Russian Federation must be stopped. Solidarity is our strength!”
National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said, “We cannot confirm the reports or any of the details at this time. We will determine what happened and what the appropriate next steps would be.”
The White House said that President Joe Biden, in Bali, spoke by phone to President Andrzej Duda of Poland.
PREVIOUSLY, 11:28 AM PT: A report that Russian missiles crossed into Poland quickly began to dominate news network coverage on Tuesday afternoon, underscoring the fears that the conflict in Ukraine would escalate.
Reporters were dramatic in describing the potential implications, but still a bit cautious as to the confirmation of the source of the missiles. Poland is member of the NATO alliance.
A Pentagon official did not immediately confirm the reports, but on CNN, correspondent Sam Kiley reported just after 11 AM PT that “in the past hour or so we have had confirmation from Polish authorities of a very, very dramatic and potentially inflammatory moment in history, really, which is the two projectiles of some kind, rockets, missiles, we don’t know exactly what. We also, critically, don’t know who fired them. What we do know is they landed in Polish territory very close to the border with Ukraine in farmland, hitting a grain store and reportedly killing two Polish citizens or residents.”
On MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell said that “something indeed did hit Poland from Russia and that the entire U.S. government is mobilized to determine if, indeed, this was deliberate.” But she also cautioned, “There is a very big chance here, before everyone gets too over their skis on it, that this … could have been an accident. If so, it is still terribly serious. The response obviously would be very different.”
Fox News also reported on the missile hit but, like other networks, then returned to other stories of the day, including ongoing midterm results and Republican House members’ leadership elections.
The report of the missiles in Poland came amid a Russian bombardment on major cities in Ukraine, as it tries to go on offense amid significant gains of Russian-held territory.
The Associated Press, citing a senior U.S. intelligence official, reported at around 10:45 AM PT that “Russian missiles crossed into NATO member Poland, killing two people.”
There also were reports that top Polish leaders were holding an emergency meeting.
NATO’s Article 5 provides that an armed attack against one or more members in Europe or North America should be considered an attack against them all. It provides for the possibility of collective self defense, if it is invoked.
Article 4 provides that members countries will consult together whenever, “in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any parties is threatened.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters at the Capitol that he could not comment on the missiles because he did not have the details.
More to come.
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