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Poland blast: NATO, G7 to maintain close contact

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NATO and G7 countries have pledged to maintain close contact to decide on any possible reaction after a deadly explosion killed two people in Przewodow, a village in eastern Poland near the border with Ukraine.

Their position is contained in a joint statement issued at the end of an emergency meeting on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Indonesia, to discuss the explosions in NATO-member Poland, which were possibly caused by a Russian-made rocket.

“We agree to remain in close touch to determine appropriate next steps as the investigation proceeds,” the leaders of the United States, Canada, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom said in joint statement.

“We offer our full support for and assistance with Poland’s ongoing investigation,” the statement added.

The leaders also condemned Russian “barbaric” attacks against Ukrainian cities and civilian infrastructure.

The emergency meeting was convened by Biden, the White House said.

“We agreed to support Poland’s investigation into the explosion in rural Poland, near the Ukrainian border, and they’re going to make sure we figure out exactly what happened,” Biden said.

“And then we’re going to collectively determine our next step as we investigate and proceed. There was total unanimity among folks at the table.”

Ukraine and Polish authorities said the explosions were caused by Russian-made missiles.

Also Read: G7 Countries Will Back Kyiv ‘For as Long as it Takes

Biden said its NATO allies are investigating the blast but early information suggests it may not have been caused by a missile fired from Russia.

Asked whether it was too early to say that any missile was fired from Russia, Biden said that the trajectory suggested otherwise.

“There is preliminary information that contests that,” he told reporters. “I don’t want to say that until we completely investigate it but it is unlikely … that it was fired from Russia, but we’ll see.”

Russia’s defense ministry has denied that Russian missiles hit Polish territory, describing such reports as “a deliberate provocation aimed at escalating the situation”.

Meanwhile, the U.S. state department said in a statement that Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, about assessments of the blasts in Poland.

He pledged to remain closely coordinated and affirmed the United States would “continue to work closely with allies and partners to provide Ukraine what it needs to defend itself”.

A determination that Moscow was to blame for the blast could trigger NATO’s principle of collective defense known as Article 5, in which an attack on one of the Western alliance’s members has deemed an attack on all, starting deliberations on a potential military response.

 

Zainab Sa’id

Source Reuters

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