Early in the morning in Bali, heads of state from around the world meet in Bali for a meeting.
It’s 3:40 p.m. when a Russian-made rocket lands in the Polish city of Przemyśl, eight kilometers from the border with Ukraine, killing two people.
It was 3am in Bali when the G20 leaders were briefed on the incident. Jens Blattner, foreign policy adviser to Chancellor Olaf Schalz, wakes up his boss at the Hotel Melia Bali. Exciting breaks, information is gathered. Four hours later, Scholes calls Polish President Andrzej Duda.
At 5:20 a.m., US National Security Council spokesman Adrian Watson announced that the US government was investigating the bombings. Joe Biden may have had a short night, too: After 6 a.m. he calls NATO Secretary Stoltenberg, after which the G20 summit goes into crisis mode.
8.40 am in Bali during crisis meeting: US President Joe Biden (79) meets German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the leaders of Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Great Britain, Spain, the Netherlands and the European Union. Large conference table.
It’s been a long time since everything became clear
A tense atmosphere prevails in a hotel conference room in Nusa Dua, Indonesia. Emmanuel Macron (44) talks to Scholes, Biden looks pensive and Justin Trudeau (50) worries about his colleagues – German government spokesman Steffen Hepstreit (50) captures the important moment behind closed doors.
After 3 a.m. in Europe, Biden presented his government’s conclusions during the meeting: It was most likely Ukrainian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles that hit Poland — and not Russian missiles, as first feared. NATO member country. But certainty has been a long time coming.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Polish President Andrzej Duda gave the all-clear: The rocket attack was not a targeted attack on a NATO country. There is no evidence that Russia fired the missile. He is also suspected of being behind the anti-Ukrainian missile attack.
Poland, the G7 countries and NATO will provide specific information only in the morning. In joint statements, they offer condolences to Poland, (almost) unconditional support to Ukraine and a modicum of protection to the world.
“It’s not Ukraine’s fault”
Later in the afternoon, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (63) appeared before the media and told how NATO member states felt about the incident in Poland. “There is no evidence that this was a deliberate attack or that Russia is planning an attack on NATO countries.”
As a defensive alliance, you will not intervene in conflict. “World War III” – as feared – will not happen for the time being. Stoltenberg insists: “Let me make it clear: it’s not Ukraine’s fault – but Russia’s.”
He reaffirms NATO’s commitment to ensuring peace. “We all want peace. We all want this war to end. But because the outcome of the peace talks is directly related to the outcome on the battlefield, (military) support is the best way to achieve that peace. (chs)
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