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Missile strike Poland called ‘isolation incident’; allies ‘on standby’


Polish security forces investigate in the village of Przewodow near the Ukrainian border, where two Poles were killed in a suspected missile attack.

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Poland’s president said his government still doesn’t know for sure who fired the rockets that hit the Polish territory late on Tuesday, killing two civilians.

The explosion occurred about 15 miles (24 km) from the Ukrainian border. Russia is launching a salvo of missiles at Ukrainian cities and energy facilities just before sunset local time.

President Andrzej Duda said the projectile was “Russian-made” and called it a rocket or missile.

“What happened is an isolated incident,” Duda said, adding that an investigation was underway. “There is no indication that much more will take place”

Poland is a member of NATO. This development has created a string of diplomatic activities between members of the alliance and Ukraine, which is not a member of NATO but receives large military aid from the alliance.

The White House said US President Joe Biden spoke to Duda and “offered the full US assistance to assist with the Polish investigation”. “President Biden has reaffirmed the unwavering commitment of the United States to NATO.”

Warsaw has also been in touch with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

“The North Atlantic Alliance is on standby,” Duda said. “We have increased the combat readiness of the Polish armed forces, including the air defense. Our aircraft will be supported by allied aircraft. We act calmly and careful.”

Moscow did not comment. The Russian Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Duda said Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy had assured Warsaw that “it was a missile launched from the territory of the Russian Federation.”

Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau summoned the ambassador of the Russian Federation “and demanded an immediate detailed explanation”, the Polish ministry said.

US markets ended higher on Tuesday, but Asia-Pacific markets fell on Wednesday.

Leaders gather at G-20

Biden, Macron, China’s Xi Jinping and other global leaders are gathering in Bali, Indonesia, for the Group of 20 summit. The Russian attacks began just hours after Zelenskyy wrapped up a video address to world leaders at the meeting.

The G-20 nations are expected to issue a statement condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to a draft version of the document seen by CNBC.

The Kremlin has established a pattern of intensifying missile strikes against civilian targets in Ukraine whenever the Russian military encounters defeat on the battlefield. Last week, Ukrainian troops forced Russian invaders to flee Kherson, Ukraine’s only regional capital that Moscow had captured in nine months of brutal war.

— NBC News’ Ewa Galica and CNBC’s Silvia Amaro contributed to this report.

This story is evolving. Please come back for more updates.

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