The UN's political chief described the incident as "a terrifying reminder of the essential need to prevent any further escalation" of the nine-month-old war in Ukraine. The United States and its allies criticized Russia in the UN Security Council for its role in a fatal missile strike in Poland.
The previously scheduled meeting was held a day after two farm workers were killed when a missile NATO classified as a stray launched by Ukraine's air defenses crashed within NATO member Poland.
Despite Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's continuing insistence that there was no question the missile was not Ukrainian, NATO and Poland indicated they believed the hit was likely not a Russian one, allaying world concerns the war may escalate.
The murders in the village close to Poland's border with Ukraine occurred on the same day that Russia launched over 90 missiles at Ukrainian cities, targeting their electricity grid and escalating millions of people's power outages. The most severe barrage since Moscow invaded Ukraine on February 24, according to the Kyiv authorities.
While we may not yet have all the details, the US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said that "we do know one thing."
"This catastrophe would never have happened but for Russia's unnecessary invasion of Ukraine and its recent missile attacks against Ukraine's civilian infrastructure.
"Ukraine has every right to defend itself against this bombardment."
The UN ambassadors of Poland and the United Kingdom concurred that the invasion of Russia was ultimately to blame for what had occurred in Poland.
Vassily Nebenzia, the UN representative for Russia, responded by accusing Poland and Ukraine of attempting "to precipitate a direct collision between Russia and NATO" and citing remarks made by the presidents of both countries that had earlier suggested Russia was to blame.
He continued, "We have long since stopped being surprised by your attempts to always blame Russia for everything, regardless of the facts or common sense.
Rosemary DiCarlo, the UN Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs, briefed the council's 15 members and criticized Russia's missile attacks on Ukrainian cities, calling them its "most intense bombardments" since its February 24 invasion.
She reminded the council members that attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure are prohibited by international law, mentioned that "intense fighting" is still occurring in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and said, "there is no end in sight to the war. As long as it continues, the chances of a potentially catastrophic spillover are all too real."
Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen., Pat Ryder, noted, “when it comes to forcing protection, we always take the safety and security of our troops, no matter where they're serving, very seriously. And so we're very confident in any force protection measures that we take, whether it be Poland or elsewhere. When it comes to our security commitments and Article 5, we've been crystal clear that we will defend every inch of NATO territory.”
Despite the United States and allies unanimously agreeing to assist Poland's inquiry, U.S. President Joe Biden said it is improbable that the missile that struck Poland and killed two people was launched from Russia.
"I'm going to see to it that we determine just what occurred.” When asked if the missile was launched from Russia, Biden responded, "I won't say anything until we have finished our investigation. Given the trajectory, it is improbable that it was shot from Russia, but we'll see.
The possibility that Russia could have launched the missile from Ukraine or anywhere else was not addressed by Biden.
Speaking while attending the Group of 20 summits, a gathering of the biggest economies in the world, Biden was in Bali, Indonesia.
Biden has stated time and time again that any attack on NATO territory will be viewed as an attack on the entire alliance. After the incident, he spoke with Polish President Andrzej Duda, expressing his unwavering support, according to the White House. The White House reported that he had a separate conversation with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
The group also talked about Russia's recent missile attacks in Ukraine, according to Biden, who called the nation's aggression "unconscionable."
However, according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the missile that struck Poland earlier this week and killed two civilians was likely fired from Ukraine.
Despite Ukraine not being a member of the alliance, NATO has promised to provide it with a "more modern air defense system" in retaliation, according to Stoltenberg.
He told the BBC, "Today I attended a meeting of a support group for Ukraine where NATO allies and partners made additional pledges for more sophisticated air defense systems so we can aid in shooting down Russian missiles.
"But for Russia to stop the war is the best way to stop situations like this from happening again. There is no evidence to suggest that this is a planned attack by Russia."
Nevertheless, he asserted that there was "no doubt that Russia is to blame because this would not have occurred if Russia had not launched a volley of missile attacks against Ukrainian cities yesterday, as they have done frequently during this war."
The potential of peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv was brought up when Stoltenberg told the BBC that prior attempts had demonstrated Vladimir Putin's lack of "willingness to compromise and negotiate."
We must realize that peace will reign if Putin and Russia put an end to their hostilities, but if Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Ukraine do the same, Ukraine's existence as a sovereign independent state would vanish.
He continued by saying that because the missile that fell was likely fired by Ukrainian Air Defense Forces, Warsaw did not view the occurrence as an attack on the nation.
Zelensky, in the meantime, has called for a probe into the event involving the Ukrainian professionals.
"The situation in Poland, which clarifies all the circumstances surrounding how Russian aggression breached the Polish border, is one of the primary topics at the UN Security Council. The Ukrainian position is extremely straightforward, and we work hard to confirm all the specifics and all the facts.
In his nightly video message to the country on Wednesday, he stated: "That is why we need our professionals to join the work of the international investigation and that we have access to all the data available to our allies and the site of the explosion."
The President, though, continues to insist that the missile was Russian and not Ukrainian