Polish President Andrzej Duda spoke via phone to a Russian prank caller who pretended to be French President Emmanuel Macron on the night a missile killed two people in a village near Poland’s border with Ukraine, according to Duda’s office.
Duda noticed during the call “the unusual way the interlocutor conducted the conversation” and ended the conversation suspicious of a fraudulent caller, according to a translated tweet from Poland’s Chancellery of the President.
According to the BBC, audio of the call reveals the caller posing as Macron asked Duda who he thought was responsible for the missile that fell across the border into Poland.
During the call, Duda reportedly insisted that he was being “careful” amid the controversy over the incident.
“I don’t want to have war with Russia and believe me, I am extra careful, extra careful,” Duda said, according to Reuters.
The call lasted more than seven minutes, and a recording was later shared online by two Russian comedians, according to Reuters.
The missile garnered mass attention because it fell within the borders of a NATO member country. If the weapon had been fired by Russia at Poland, it could have escalated the conflict under NATO’s Article 5, which mandates that an attack on one member nation is to be considered an attack on the alliance as a whole.
News outlets initially reported that Russia had fired the missile, but NATO’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, said the incident was likely an accident as Ukraine defended itself.
But Stoltenberg said that, even if the missile was a Ukrainian error, Russia is to shoulder the blame.
“This is not Ukraine’s fault; Russia bears ultimate responsibility. The whole incident is caused by Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine,” the NATO leader said.
Investigations are ongoing, but President Biden has also said it appears unlikely the missile was fired from Russia.