Ukraine president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has opposed NATO member, Poland and the head of the military alliance report that a missile strike in Polish farmland that killed two people did not appear to be intentional and was probably launched by air defences in neighbouring Ukraine.
Russia had been bombarding Ukraine at the time in an attack that savaged its power grid.
“Ukraine’s defence was launching their missiles in various directions, and it is highly probable that one of these missiles, unfortunately, fell on Polish territory,” said Polish President Andrzej Duda.
“There is nothing, absolutely nothing, to suggest that it was an intentional attack on Poland.”
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, at a meeting of the 30-nation military alliance in Brussels, echoed the preliminary Polish findings.
The initial assessments of Tuesday’s deadly landing of the Soviet-era missile appeared to dial back the likelihood of the strike triggering another major escalation in the nearly 9-month-old Russian invasion of Ukraine. If Russia had deliberately targeted Poland, that could have risked drawing NATO into the conflict.
Meanwhile, speaking to reporters, President Zelenskiy said he had received reports from the command of Ukraine’s armed forces and air force and “cannot but trust them”.
Interfax news agency quotes Zelenskiy as saying: “I have no doubt that it was not our rocket.
He added that he believed Ukraine should have been allowed access to the site of the explosion in eastern Poland, adding: “Can we not say the final conclusions? Do we have the right to be in the investigation team? Of course.”
Zelenskiy’s remarks came after Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s national security and defence council, said Ukraine wanted a “joint study” of Tuesday’s incident with its partners.