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NATO says Ukrainian S-300 missile fell in Poland, but blames Russia

According to Jens Stoltenberg, Russia is responsible for what happened
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg EPA-EFE/OLIVIER HOSLET
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg

BRUSSELS, November 16. /TASS/. A preliminary NATO assessment showed that an S-300 missile that fell in Poland was Ukrainian, but it was not Kiev's fault as Russia was responsible for the incident, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday following an emergency meeting of the North Atlantic Council at an ambassadorial level on the incident concerning the fall of a Ukrainian missile in Poland.

Committed by Ukraine, but blamed on Russia

"Our preliminary analysis suggests that the incident was likely caused by a Ukrainian air defense missile fired to defend Ukrainian territory against Russian cruise missile attacks. But let me be clear: this is not Ukraine’s fault," he said.

According to Stoltenberg, Russia is responsible for what happened. "Russia bears ultimate responsibility, as it continues its illegal <…> [attacks] against Ukraine," the official said. "We will continue to support Ukraine in its right to self-defense," the Secretary General promised.

He also stressed that NATO did not see signs of a premeditated attack on its territory. "But we [NATO] have no indication that this was the result of a deliberate attack and we have no indication that Russia is preparing offensive military actions against NATO", he added.

Air defense supplies to Ukraine

According to Stoltenberg, NATO considers supplying Kiev with new air defense systems its first priority following the incident involving the downing of a Ukrainian S-300 missile in Poland.

"The main focus of all our efforts over the last month has been on air defense," he said, adding that "we [NATO] are mobilizing additional support, especially when it comes to different types of air defenses". According to the Secretary General, the topic of additional supplies will be discussed today at an online meeting of the Contact Group for Ukraine, which coordinates military assistance.

Ukrainian projectile falls in Poland

On Tuesday, a missile fell in the village of Przewodow in eastern Poland’s Lublin Voivodeship on the border with Ukraine, killing two people. According to Polish President Andrzej Duda, this was not a deliberate attack on Poland. Warsaw has learned that the missile was most likely an S-300 missile produced in the 1970s, used by the Ukrainian missile anti-aircraft forces.

The Russian Defense Ministry slammed the Polish media and officials' statements about the alleged fall of Russian missiles as provocation, saying that the country did not strike anything near the Ukrainian-Polish border. The Russian Defense Ministry pointed out that judging by the published photos, the debris had nothing to do with Russian missiles.