In Bali, heads of state and government were woken up in the middle of the night. The reason: in Poland, two people died in rocket attacks near the Ukrainian border. Telephone calls were immediately made to Europe – and a crisis meeting was convened.
At 3 a.m. Chancellor Scholz received a wake-up call from his foreign policy adviser Jens Plötner. Shortly before, two people died in an explosion near the Ukrainian border in Poland. On the fringes of the G20 summit, the news from Poland alarmed the heads of state and government in Bali.
Four hours later, Scholz called Polish President Andrzej Duda. He expressed his condolences and the sympathy of the Germans to him and the people of Poland, he said afterwards in a Twitter video. Duda had previously phoned US President Biden, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj also spoke to the Polish President. Biden also spoke to Stoltenberg on the phone until 6:13 a.m.
Shortly thereafter, Biden scheduled a crisis summit for 9 a.m. local time. Among others, the heads of state and government of the seven major western democracies (G7) took part. French President Emmanuel Macron and Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the heads of government from Great Britain, Italy, Canada and Japan, as well as EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU Council President Charles Michel sat at the table. Turkish President Erdogan did not take part “for logistical reasons”.
At the meeting, Biden shared his assessment with attendees that the missile was unlikely to have been launched from Russia. According to the information currently available, it is “unlikely” that the missile was launched from Russian soil. “I’m going to make sure we find out exactly what happened,” Biden said after the meeting.
According to information from the German Press Agency, it later became known that Biden also announced at the meeting that the projectile had evidence of an anti-aircraft missile from Ukraine. The Soviet-designed system is an integral part of Ukrainian anti-aircraft defense.
After the meeting, it was said from several sides that Moscow was responsible for the incident in Poland with its shelling of Ukraine. This applies even if it was actually a Ukrainian anti-missile.
“We offer Poland our full support and assistance in the ongoing investigation,” it said in a statement afterwards. “We condemn the barbaric rocket attacks carried out by Russia on Tuesday on Ukrainian cities and civilian infrastructure.”
The G20 meeting ends on Wednesday. A statement was also passed condemning Russia’s war against Ukraine. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who represented Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin, left the meeting on Tuesday.