President Biden announced late Tuesday that it was “unlikely” the missile was fired from Russia in a deadly attack on Polish soil.
Biden, 79, told reporters at the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia that a preliminary analysis of the missile’s trajectory appears to “doubt” it came from Russia.
“There is preliminary information that contradicts that,” Biden said when asked by a reporter if the missile was fired by Moscow.
“I don’t want to say that until we’ve fully investigated it, but it’s unlikely – in the lines of the trajectory – that it was fired from Russia, but we’ll see,” he added.
The commander-in-chief went on to say that during an emergency meeting, G7 and NATO leaders agreed to “support Poland’s investigation” into the blast in a rural eastern part of the country near the Ukrainian border.
Biden also said the next steps would be determined by the outcome of that investigation.
The leaders later issued a joint statement condemning “barbaric rocket attacks by Russia on Tuesday on Ukrainian cities and civilian infrastructure.
“We spoke about the explosion that occurred in the eastern part of Poland near the border with Ukraine,” the statement continued. “We offer our full support and assistance in the ongoing investigations in Poland. We agree to remain in close contact to determine appropriate next steps as the investigation unfolds… We all extend our condolences to the families of the victims in Poland and Ukraine.”
The president’s bevy of reporters followed a period of confusion when the White House vowed he would make an on-camera statement on the missile attack ahead of the meeting with NATO leaders – only for Biden to decline to make any comments before the government cut off video of the gathering in less than 30 seconds.
The emergency roundtable on the sidelines of the summit was a late addition to the president’s schedule Wednesday morning local time.
“Mr. Mr. President, can you tell us what you know so far about the blast in Poland, sir?” Politico’s Johnathan Lemire yelled at Biden as the leaders posed for photos.
“No,” Biden shot back as he sat between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
This led the press pool out of the room and interrupted the official White House video feed 27 seconds after it began.
It wasn’t immediately clear if Biden didn’t know he was due to make a statement to reporters before the meeting, or if he had simply changed his mind.
Alongside Biden, Trudeau and Sunak were German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel, the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
Hours earlier, Biden spoke to Polish President Andrzej Duda on the phone about the strike, which killed two people.
“I spoke to President Andrzej Duda of Poland to express my deep condolences for the loss of life in eastern Poland and to offer our full support for the Polish investigation into the blast,” read a tweet from the president’s official account. “We will remain in close contact to determine appropriate next steps as we proceed.
The tweet included an image of Biden in shirtsleeves on the phone in his hotel room alongside Secretary of State Antony Blinken – dressed in similar casual attire – and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.
Duda said in a statement that the missile attack was being investigated but claimed the projectile was of Russian origin.
“‘We don’t have conclusive evidence at the moment as to who launched that missile… it was most likely a Russian-made missile, but all of that is still being investigated at the moment,’ the Polish leader added.
A Polish government spokesman said Warsaw is considering invoking NATO’s Article 4, which says members can raise any concerns, especially security-related, before the North Atlantic Council for discussion.
Asked about the possibility of Poland invoking Article 4 or Article 5, which advocates the principle of collective defense among NATO members, Biden said an ambassadors’ meeting would be held soon, although he did not give a specific timetable.
https://nypost.com/2022/11/15/biden-says-unlikely-missile-that-struck-poland-came-from-russia/ Biden says ‘unlikely’ missile that hit Poland came from Russia