President Biden said Wednesday in Indonesia that it is unlikely that the explosions in eastern Poland killing at least two of the NATO ally’s citizens were caused by missiles fired from Russia, but pledged to “figure out exactly what happened.”
The president, who is attending the Group of 20 summit in Bali, offered his assessment after convening an emergency meeting with fellow G-20 leaders after several suspected Russian missiles strayed into Poland amid a barrage of Russian strikes targeting Ukrainian energy infrastructure far from the front lines in Ukraine’s eastern regions.
“It’s unlikely … that it was fired from Russia,” Mr. Biden said, citing an analysis of the missile’s trajectory.
“There is preliminary information that contests that,” he said. “I don’t want to say that until we completely investigate.”
Mr. Biden was joined by leaders from France, Germany, Spain, Canada, the U.K., Italy, Japan, and the European Union in a closed-door meeting to discuss the developments in Poland.
He said those in attendance agreed to support Poland’s investigation into the explosion.
“I’m going to make sure we find out exactly what happened,” he said. “And then we’re going to collectively determine our next steps as we investigate and proceed.”
“There was total unanimity among the folks at the table,” he said.
The Polish government convened an urgent national security meeting earlier Tuesday to address what officials called a “crisis situation” that could significantly escalate Russia’s war in Ukraine, which is entering its ninth month.
The Polish Foreign Ministry has blamed a “Russian-made missile” for the deaths of two Polish citizens and summoned the Russian ambassador to Warsaw to discuss the incident.
Russia’s Defense Ministry has denied that any Russian missiles were involved in the incident, calling the reports a “deliberate provocation” by the Polish government.
NATO ministers are meeting Wednesday to hear a Polish report on the attack and consider possible next steps for the alliance.
The U.S. has yet to offer its own assessment.
Mr. Biden offered his condolences for those killed in Poland following his closed-door talks with world leaders.
He also condemned the barrage of Russian attacks on Ukraine’s infrastructure that preceded the explosions within Poland.
“It’s been totally unconscionable what they’re doing,” he said of Russia. “We support Ukraine fully in this moment. We have since the start of this conflict and we will continue to do whatever it takes to give them the capacity to defend themselves.”