The fall of supposedly Russian missiles in Poland, a NATO territory, with two fatalities, has put the European Union and the Atlantic Alliance in a situation of maximum alert. Waiting for clarification of what happenedthe Czech presidency of the EU has warned that if Moscow’s responsibility is confirmed, that would mean an “escalation” of the Ukrainian war. For their part, the Baltic countries have stressed that “every inch of NATO territory must be defended.”
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawieckihas called an emergency meeting of the Committee for National Security and Defense Affairs. At the end of the meeting, his spokesperson explained that is considering activating article 4 of NATO, which requires consultations when an ally considers that its territorial integrity, political independence or security are threatened. The Government of Warsaw will also activate several military units. The ambassadors of the Atlantic Alliance are scheduled to meet this Wednesday to address the situation.
NATO is examining what happened in close coordination with Warsaw. “I have spoken with President Andrzej Duda about the explosion in Poland. I have given my condolences for the loss of life. NATO is monitoring the situation and allies are consulting closely. It is important that all the facts are established,” said the Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg.
[Dos misiles causan dos muertos en Polonia, territorio de la OTAN, cerca de Ucrania]
The Russian Ministry of Defense has blacked out all the information from “deliberate provocation in order to escalate the situation”. “Attacks against targets near the Ukrainian-Polish border have not been carried out with Russian means of destruction,” she said in a statement.
For his part, the Ukrainian president, Volodimir Zelensky, has no doubt that the Kremlin is responsible for the attack. “Hitting NATO territory with missiles: this is a Russian missile attack against collective security. This is a really significant climb. You have to take action,” Zelensky has claimed.
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“I am shocked by the news that a missile or other munition has killed people on Polish territory. My condolences to the families. we are with poland. I am in contact with the Polish authorities, members of the European Council and other allies,” has written on Twitter the President of the European Council, Charles-Michelwhich is at the G-20 summit in Bali.
“Today’s massive missile attacks by the Russian Army in Ukraine clearly show that Russia wants to further terrorize its people and destroy the country“, says Czech Prime Minister Peter Fiala, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the EU.
“If Poland confirms that the missiles also hit its territory, it will be a new escalation by Russia. We strongly support our EU and NATO ally“, stressed the Czech Prime Minister.
“Lithuania stands in strong solidarity with Poland. Every inch of NATO territory must be defended“, claimed the president of Lithuania, Nauseda Gypsy.
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Until now, NATO has refused to enter Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine because this country is not a member of the club. The allies are supplying the kyiv government with weapons, but have rejected the president’s requests, Volodimir Zelensky, to establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine considering that this would mean a direct clash with Moscow.
However, if the fall of Russian missiles in Poland, which is a NATO member, is confirmed, that could turn the situation around. Article 5 of the Atlantic Alliance Treaty say what “an armed attack against one or more Member States, taking place in Europe or North America, will be considered as a targeted attack on everyone“.
“If such an attack occurs, each one of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective legitimate defense recognized by article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, assist the Party or Parties attacked“using the measures it deems necessary, “including the use of armed force,” says article 5.
The Deputy Prime Minister of Latvia and Head of Defence, Artis Pabrikshas advocated for first activating article 4 and reinforce the air defense systems of Poland and also of Ukraine.
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“Belgium strongly condemns the incident on Polish territory and sends its deepest condolences to the families of the victims and the people of Poland. Belgium supports Poland. We are all part of the NATO family that is closer than ever and equipped to protect us all.“said Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo.
“The latest news from Poland is very worrying. We are consulting closely with Poland and other allies. Estonia is ready to defend every inch of NATO territory. We stand in full solidarity with our ally Poland,” said Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu.
Also the president of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyenit has been declared “alarmed by news of an explosion in Poland, following a massive Russian missile attack on Ukrainian cities”.
“I express my condolences and my strongest message of support and solidarity to Poland and our Ukrainian friends. We are closely monitoring the situation and are in contact with the Polish authorities and partners and allies,” he said.
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