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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Poland may have been hit by Ukrainian missile: Nato

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Brussels: Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has told the media that a missile which killed two people in Poland on Tuesday was probably Ukrainian.

“Most likely this is a Ukrainian air defence missile,” he told the BBC as investigations continued into the blast near the Ukrainian border.

However, he stressed that Russia was ultimately to blame because of its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Ukraine continues to say that Russia actually fired the missile.

“I have no doubt that this is not our missile,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said in televised remarks. “I believe that this was a Russian missile, based on our military reports.”

He demanded Ukraine to be included to investigate into the blast on the farm in Przewodow, 6km from the border.

Ukrainian air defence systems were activated on Tuesday when Russia launched its biggest wave of missile strikes since the February 24 invasion.

Stoltenberg said Nato has pledged to supply a “more advanced air defence system” to Ukraine which is not a member of the alliance but receives extensive military aid.

“Today I attended a meeting of a support group for Ukraine where Nato allies and partners made new pledges for more advanced air defence systems so we can help to shoot down Russian missiles,” the Nato chief said.

“But the best way to prevent any instances like this in the future is for Russia to stop war.”

“We have no indication that this is a deliberate attack from Russia,” he said, speaking from Nato’s headquarters in Brussels..

He added, however, that there was “no doubt that Russia is responsible because this would not have happened if Russia had not launched a barrage of missile attacks against Ukrainian cities yesterday, as they have done many times before during this war”.

Polish President Andrzej Duda said earlier that although a Russian-made S-300 missile was most likely to blame, there was no evidence it had been fired by the Russian side.

When asked about the possibility of peace negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv, Stoltenberg said previous attempts had shown that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin had “no willingness to compromise and negotiate”.

“We have to understand if Putin and Russia stop fighting we will have peace but if Zelensky and Ukraine stop fighting, then Ukraine will cease to exist as an independent sovereign nation,” he said.

The top US general also commented on the war on Wednesday, saying there might be a “political solution where, politically, the Russians withdraw” from Ukraine.

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