Updated Nov 16, 2022 - World

Poland: "Russian-made missile" fell on Polish soil near Ukraine border, killing 2

Head of the Office of National Security, Jacek Siewiera (L), and Spokesperson of the Polish government, Piotr Muller, make a statement

Head of Poland's Office of National Security, Jacek Siewiera (L), and spokesperson of the Polish government, Piotr Muller, make a statement in Warsaw on Nov. 15. Photo: Janek Skarzynski/AFP via Getty Images

A "Russian-made missile" landed in Poland near its border with Ukraine on Tuesday and killed at least two people, the Polish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

State of play: Russia has denied any responsibility for the explosion in the Polish village of Przewodów, saying "no strikes were made against targets near the Ukrainian-Polish state border by Russian means of destruction," according to state media.

  • Polish President Andrzej Duda was more cautious in his remarks than his country's Foreign Ministry, saying there was no clear evidence pointing to who fired the missile, though it "was most probably Russian-made."
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, meanwhile, accused Russia of a "serious escalation."

The latest: President Biden, who is in Indonesia for the G20 summit, said he and the leaders of eight allied countries had agreed during an emergency meeting to support Poland's investigation into the explosion.

  • Biden did not attribute any blame for the explosion, but said in response to a reporter's question that it was "unlikely" the projectile that caused it was fired from Russia due to its trajectory.
  • The meeting came after Biden held a phone call with Polish President Andrzej Duda, where the U.S. president "reaffirmed the United States' ironclad commitment to NATO," per the White House.
  • Duda also spoke to several other leaders, including Zelensky and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who said the alliance "is monitoring the situation and Allies are closely consulting."

Stoltenberg will chair an emergency meeting of NATO ambassadors on Wednesday "to discuss this tragic incident," a spokesperson for the alliance said.

  • Meanwhile, Poland summoned the Russian ambassador to its Ministry of Foreign Affairs and demanded immediate detailed explanations, spokesperson Lukasz Jasina said in a statement.
  • Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki earlier on Tuesday had called an urgent meeting with the heads of the country's national security and defense ministries, according to Piotr Mueller, a government spokesperson.

The big picture: Russia struck several Ukrainian cities and energy facilities with a massive barrage of missiles on Tuesday, including its capital of Kyiv.

  • The attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructure also prompted mass energy outages in neighboring Moldova.

What they're saying: A White House National Security Council spokesperson said earlier Tuesday that the U.S. was "working with the Polish government to gather more information."

  • "We will determine what happened and what the appropriate next steps would be," NSC spokesperson Adrienne Watson earlier Tuesday.
  • State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel echoed that statement. Asked if it would matter whether the strike was intentional, Patel said: "Of course, that's something that would be of importance."

Watch to watch, via Axios' Dave Lawler: As a NATO member, Poland is covered by the Article 5 guarantee that an "armed attack" on it shall be considered an attack on all allies, who will respond accordingly.

  • But the definition of an armed attack is left up to the allies, who would have to meet and come to a consensus that invoking Article 5 is justified. That has happened only once before, after the September 11 attacks. The nature of the response is also left to the allies to determine.

Editor's note: This is a breaking news story. Please check back for new updates.

Go deeper