By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — Polish officials have called an emergency meeting of the country’s Security Council amid reports two stray Russian missiles aimed at Ukraine instead landed in the NATO member country, killing two people.
The Associated Press quoted a senior U.S. intelligence official as saying two blasts in a village in eastern Poland near the border were due to Russian missiles crossing into Poland.
Polish officials did not immediately confirm the reports, but state-run news agency PAP reported that the Polish government would hold an emergency meeting late on November 15.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy confirmed that Russian missiles struck Poland and said Ukraine has long warned that Russian actions would not be limited to Ukraine.
The missile strikes on NATO territory represented a significant escalation, he said, calling for unspecified action in response. NATO is “looking into” the reports, an unidentified official said, according to AFP.
“Premier [Mateusz] Morawiecki urgently convened the Committee of the Council of Ministers for National Security and Defense Affairs,” Polish government spokesman Piotr Muller said on Twitter.
Russia denied its missiles had hit Polish territory, saying the reports were “a deliberate provocation” to escalate the situation.
“There were no strikes on targets near the Ukrainian-Polish state border by Russian weapons. The wreckage published by the Polish mass media from the scene of the incident in the settlement of Przewodow has nothing to do with Russian weapons,” the Russian Defense Ministry said.
U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Vedant Patel said the reports coming out of Poland were “incredibly concerning,” adding that Washington was working to determine what happened and appropriate next steps.
The State Department is talking to a range of partners about the reports and is working with the Polish government, Patel told reporters at a regular news briefing.
The situation arose as Russia launched a barrage of missiles at sites across Ukraine aimed at crippling the country’s energy infrastructure.
Ukrainian officials said more than 90 missiles were fired in the attacks, some of the heaviest attacks since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in late February, hitting cities such as Kyiv and Lviv.
With the attacks hitting a NATO member, many countries in the region reacted swiftly, warning the incident could further raise already-high tensions between the West and Moscow.
Estonia’s Foreign Ministry called the news from Poland “most concerning” and said that Tallinn would consult with Warsaw and other NATO allies.
Poland’s neighbor Lithuania voiced similar sentiments, adding that “every inch of NATO territory must be defended.”
“Today’s massive missile attacks by the Russian Army on Ukraine clearly show that Russia wants to further terrorize its people and destroy the country,” added Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala on Twitter.
“If Poland confirms that the missiles also hit its territory, this will be a further escalation by Russia,” he added.