Biden: ‘Unlikely’ explosions in Poland caused by missiles fired from Russia
Vice President Joe Biden on Monday urged Russia to stop its ongoing nuclear testing as he and Polish President Andrzej Duda met at the presidential residence in Warsaw.
“Like many NATO members, Poland has been the target of provocative Russian actions,” Biden told reporters.
He told the AP that “it would be ‘unlikely’ that those missiles that were launched could have been launched from another country, although he said he believed the Russians had targeted Poland.”
Duda echoed Biden’s comments. “It cannot have been a mistake,” Duda said. “In the NATO alliance there is a common objective, and that is to prevent any nuclear exchange between Russia and the United States and Europe.”
He said he and the U.S. “must make it clear to the Russians that those aggressive actions will not be tolerated.”
The Pentagon is sending a small contingent of military personnel to protect US troops in Poland this week as the standoff continues. White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday there were no United States troops in Poland.
On Sunday, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told US Ambassador to the Russian Federation, Geoffrey Pyatt, that sanctions were unlikely to affect its support of Iran and Syria.
“It would be unlikely that sanctions would have a significant effect on the delivery of Iranian and Syrian military equipment to the Russian defense industry, which we need to continue to strengthen, and on Russian arms sales to Iran,” Pyatt said earlier Monday.
Pyatt is accompanied by officials from the State Department and Pentagon. He is also meeting with US National Security Adviser Susan Rice.
US officials have downplayed fears of an armed attack launched by Russia on the US during a NATO meeting in Brussels.
The Pentagon has been preparing for an armed conflict for weeks, including sending additional ships and planes to the region, and the US has warned its allies that “all options are on the table.”
Last month, the US and the UK threatened to impose sanctions on Russia over the Ukrainian crisis and the downing of a Malaysian passenger aircraft as well as the destruction of a passenger plane in Egypt.