It’s Russia’s aggression that caused missile incident, says former Polish defense minister

It does not matter whether Russia or Ukraine fired the missile, Russia is ultimately responsible, former Polish defense minister in the 1990s and foreign affairs expert Jan Parys tells Salon24.pl opinion portal

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: salon24.pl
Russian President Vladimir Putin leads a cabinet meeting via videoconference at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022. (Mikhail Metzel, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Asked about his take on what happened over the missile incident in eastern Poland, former Polish Defense Minister Jan Parys said that only two things are certain: A tragic incident led to the death of two people, and the rocket that fell on Polish soil was produced by Russia.

Parys says the West still does not know whether the missile was fired from the ground or from a plane, but argues that this information must be determined by an investigation.

However, he stressed that there can be no doubt that Poland is now a front-line state, and any actions that weaken it, such as those taken by the EU regarding withholding money from Poland’s recovery fund, weaken both Poland’s and Europe’s defense potential. 

The former defense minister says he feels that the issue of whether Russia or Ukraine fired the missile is of secondary importance. It happened because there is a war taking place, and it is Russia that is waging that war. Therefore, Russia bears ultimate responsibility for the incident, as it is responsible for the destruction of infrastructure and the deaths of so many in Ukraine.

Poland has also fallen victim in this war, even though it is not directly under Russian attack, he says.

Asked about Russia’s retreat from Kherson and its missile assault on Ukraine, Parys responded that Russia’s withdrawal was tactical. However, it does signify Russia’s military weakness when it has to use the width of the Dnipro River to protect itself from the Ukrainian advance.

Tuesday’s massive missile attack on Ukraine, he feels, is a sign of frustration at the isolation Russia has had to endure at the G20 summit in Bali, where even China would not back it. The missile assault was Russia flexing its muscles and saying it is still strong, hoping to make the West fearful again. In reality, it was just another sign of Russia’s weakness. 

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