Updated Nov 15, 2022 - World

Biden holds emergency talks with world leaders on Poland explosion

 President Joe Biden of the United States attends the G20 Summit on November 15, 2022 in Nusa Dua, Indonesia.

President Biden attends the G20 Summit in Nusa Dua, Indonesia, on Tuesday. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images,

President Biden said he and the leaders of eight allied countries had agreed during an emergency meeting to support Poland's investigation into the explosion that killed two people near the border with Ukraine and wait for more information before determining their next steps.

What he's saying: 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.

  • Poland's foreign ministry said earlier in the day that the missile was "Russian-made," while President Andrzej Sebastian Duda struck a more cautious tone, saying it was "most probably Russian-made" and adding that officials did not know for sure yet who fired it. Ukraine also uses Russian-made missiles, including for air defense.
  • Russian officials have denied any responsibility for the explosion in the Polish village of Przewodów.
  • "I'm gonna make sure we find out exactly what happened — our empathy goes out, apparently two people were killed — and then we're going to collectively determine our next step," Biden said after the meeting, held in Indonesia where world leaders are gathered for the G20 summit.

According to the White House, the counties represented in the meeting were Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain the U.K. and U.S., along with the EU.

  • Biden said he briefed his fellow leaders on his calls with Duda and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, and said the leaders also discussed Russia's "totally unconscionable" missile attacks on civilian infrastructure across Ukraine during their emergency meeting.
  • The leaders issued a joint statement condemning those Russian strikes, adding: "We reaffirm our steadfast support for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people in the face of ongoing Russian aggression, as well as our continued readiness to hold Russia accountable for its brazen attacks on Ukrainian communities."
  • Secretary of State Tony Blinken discussed the situation in a call with his Polish counterpart, and also spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart to discuss "ongoing assessments" of the explosion as well as Ukraine's "energy security and air defense" needs, per the State Department.

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

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

Go deeper