United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai held a joint press conference ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting in Bangkok on Thursday. Blinken said that Russia was ultimately responsible for the tragic incident in Poland where a missile strike, likely believed to be from Ukraine’s air defence, killed two people.
“We already know the party ultimately responsible for this tragic incident, Russia. Russia invaded its sovereign, independent neighbour, it’s raining missiles down upon its city, upon its people, upon its infrastructure,” said Blinken.
He added “We have full confidence in Poland’s investigation. I spoke again today with Foreign Minister Kuleba, my Ukrainian counterpart. We’ll continue to be in very close touch with Ukraine and Poland as well as other allies and partners as the Polish investigation runs its course.”
US Secretary of State Blinken slammed Russia by saying “Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to ignore global calls for de-escalation, choosing instead to escalate, raining down scores of missiles on infrastructure across Ukraine that provides heat, water and light to millions of civilians” during his speech at the press briefing.
The statements came after Polish authorities reported that a missile had fallen on their territory on Tuesday, close to the border with Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed 90 missiles had been launched against his country, describing the incident in Poland as a ‘significant escalation’.
On Wednesday, Polish authorities and the Pentagon suggested the blast was likely the result of a misguided Ukrainian anti-air defence missile.
The Russian Defence Ministry strongly denied any responsibility for the missile strike, saying that “there were no strikes on targets near the Ukrainian-Polish state border by Russian weapons.”
Leaders from the 21-member APEC forum will meet at a two-day summit in Thailand’s capital on Friday.