Last February, in the first days of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as thousands of Ukrainian women arrived in Poland to escape the war with their children, Polish volunteers who met them at Przemysl station uttered this reporter’s phrase: “We will Be next.” In the countries of Eastern Europe, former satellites of the Soviet Union’s military, russian menace It has always been more present in rulers and citizens than in Western Europe, protected in its analysis by historical and geographical distance.
In this mental context, the impact of a missile on Polish territory killed two people on Tuesday, as Russia’s war against Ukraine has been going on for nearly nine months, looking like NATO may cross the border to enter the country. has done The Polish Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, in agreement with President Andrzej Duda, urgently convened the Security Commission.
National to assess a situation that was still confusing at the time. Meanwhile, Russia denied any responsibility for the blast and accused Poland of “deliberate provocation”.
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However, the tone used in Warsaw, although firm, can be described as measured. Although Polish officials spoke of a “Russian-made” missile that night, and at the end of the meeting a spokesman for the executive said that Poland was considering invoking NATO’s Article 4 on Wednesday morning, the government had already done so. was denying it. “There is no indication that this incident was an attack on Polish territory,” Morawiecki said Wednesday, calling it “an unfortunate incident that resulted in the deaths of two Polish citizens.”
Article 4 of the Alliance Treaty, as provided for, originally implies the termination of consultations between member states when an ally believes that its “territorial integrity, political independence or security” is threatened. Nevertheless, the immediate appointment of NATO ambassadors to Brussels was chosen, a crisis format, but more reassuring. The last time Article 4 was activated was on February 24, the day Russia invaded Ukraine.
In the first hours, the Polish government considered invoking Article 4 of the alliance, but in the end did not.
At an evening meeting of the Polish Security Commission, on Tuesday, there was no question of activating Article 5 of the NATO treaty, which says “an armed attack against one or more of them (signatory nations) that occurs in Europe or in North America, it would be considered an attack directed against all of them. It is an article which, in any case, and despite the semantic power of its wording, should be considered as a deterrent against attacks rather than as a military response mechanism. Article 5 is done only
Used once: Implemented by the United States in 2001 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Also the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, confirmed the Polish practice of restraint. Stoltenberg said in Brussels, “the explosion was not the result of a deliberate attack”; There are no indications that “Russia is preparing aggressive actions against allied countries”; And everything indicates that the incident was caused by Ukrainian anti-aircraft defense “to protect Ukrainian territory from missile attacks from Russia.”
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Allies, including the country affected by the incident, used the language of restraint and restraint; Nobody wanted it to douse the fire of growth. The United States, even pledging to defend “every inch of the Atlantic Alliance’s territory” (the words of a Defense Department press officer), had already assured on Tuesday night that it had no evidence Not that it was a Russian missile. Later, from the G-20 summit in Bali, US President Joe Biden said “it was unlikely, because of the trajectory, that it would have been fired from Russia.”
Eastern Europe experienced the event with relative restraint, despite the fact that the war in Ukraine seems very close. In times of crisis, only the Baltic countries raised their voice. Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pubriks tweeted: “Latvia fully supports Polish friends and condemns this crime,” without naming the culprits.
Eastern Europe experienced this event with relative control, despite the fact that the war in Ukraine seems very close.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia. But yesterday Ukrainian armed forces told the United States that they had attempted to shoot down a Russian missile in Poland within the time frame of its impact, CNN reported. He did not specify the weapons used, but, according to the Associated Press agency, Ukraine still has stockpiles of Soviet and Russian manufacture, such as the S-300 air defense missile system. This would explain why Poland had initially spoken of a “Russian-made” missile, which is now confirmed to be Ukrainian-owned.
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