“We will defend every inch of NATO territory”: reactions to the explosion in Poland by “Russian-made missiles”

 It has not yet been clarified who launched the “Russian-made missiles” that, according to the Polish authorities, hit the east of the country, near the border with Ukraine. However, rejection and warnings from several NATO countries were immediate, as the projectiles fell on the territory of a member country at approximately the same time that Russia launched its largest wave of missile attacks against Ukrainian cities in more than one month

Following reports of the explosion, authorities in Poland called an emergency meeting with national security officials and said they are preparing some units for combat. In addition, the country is considering asking NATO members to discuss article 4, which establishes that the allies will consult when the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the parties is threatened.

If investigations show that the missiles came from Russia, the implications could be “very serious” for what happens to the war in Ukraine. Polish President Andrzej Duda clarified that it is not known who launched the missile that caused the explosion, although he stressed that “it was probably produced in Russia.”

The Russian Defense Ministry, for its part, denied attacking the Polish-Ukrainian border. In a brief statement, he said that the reports about “the alleged missile drop” was a “deliberate provocation to escalate the situation.”

This has been the reaction to the explosion in Poland that claimed the lives of two people.

The US “will defend every inch of NATO territory”

US President Joe Biden, who is in Bali for the G20 summit, said G7 and NATO leaders decided to “make sure we find out exactly what happened” after the Russian-made missile killed two people in Poland and said there was “total unanimity” among the leaders.

“We agreed to support Poland’s investigations into the explosion in rural Poland near the Ukrainian border and we will be sure to find out exactly what happened,” Biden told reporters after his emergency meeting with leaders at the G20 summit.

Biden also said it was “unlikely” that the missile that fell on Polish soil was fired from Russia.

“There is preliminary information that refutes that,” the US president said when asked if it was too early to say whether the missile was fired from Russia.

“I don’t want to say that until we fully investigate,” Biden continued. “It is unlikely, based on the trajectory the missile followed, that it was fired from Russia. But we’ll see.”

Hours earlier, the President of the United States spoke by phone with the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, after learning of the reports of the missile impact. In the conversation, Biden “expressed his deep condolences for the loss of life in eastern Poland,” according to the White House. 

In the call, Biden offered the support and assistance of the United States for the investigation and reaffirmed the country’s “iron” commitment to NATO.

Earlier, the press secretary of the US Department of Defense, General Pat Ryder, said that they were aware of the press reports about the missile fall, but they waited for more information to corroborate and did not rush. to point directly at Russia.

The US Department of Defense Press Secretary also said: “When it comes to our security commitments and Article 5, we have been very clear that we will defend every inch of NATO territory.”

UK will remain in “close contact” with its allies

The United Kingdom remains in the same line as the US and assured that it is “in close contact” with the allies after the reports of the events, according to a spokesman for the UK Foreign Office.

Later, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on his Twitter account that he had phoned Duda and expressed his condolences for the victims of the missile strike in Poland.

The UK “will remain in close contact and continue to coordinate with our NATO allies,” Sunak added.

“We are looking into these reports and working closely with allies,” a spokesperson for the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office previously told CNN.

France is “extremely cautious”

French President Emmanuel Macron has called for talks at the G20 summit following reports of rockets or missiles hitting Poland, according to an Elysee Palace spokesman.

“The president has been in contact with the Polish leadership and is being kept informed of developments in the situation,” the spokesman said.

Macron later posted on his Twitter account that he had a phone conversation with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki to express France’s “solidarity” with Poland following the reports of the missile attack.

“Poland can count on the support of France and our readiness to assist in the ongoing investigations,” Macron wrote.

A French defense source told CNN that France was being “extremely cautious” and that officials would not comment until they could “analyze all available information.”

“We are in close contact with the Polish authorities,” the defense source said.

Italy is closely following the events and maintains contact with the allies

Meanwhile, Italy’s Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said in a tweet that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, also called Farnesina, is closely monitoring developments in Poland and is in close contact with NATO allies. .

“Farnesina is following the events in Poland with the utmost attention, in constant contact with Defense, European countries and NATO allies,” Tajani said. “My condolences to the families of the victims. I am close to the Polish people.”

Zelensky: “Terror is not limited to our borders”

Who has pointed directly to Russia is the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, and described the fall of missiles on Polish territory as a “significant escalation.”

“What happened today is what we have warned for a long time. We have talked about this, terror is not limited to our national borders. It is already spreading to the territory of Moldova. And today Russian missiles hit Poland. On the territory of our friendly country. People died,” Zelensky said.

More NATO allies react

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will chair an emergency meeting of NATO ambassadors on Wednesday morning in Brussels to discuss “this tragic incident,” NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu told CNN on Tuesday.

Another NATO member, Estonia, called reports that missiles had landed inside Poland “very worrying.” The Estonian Foreign Ministry commented on Twitter: “The latest news from Poland is the most worrying. We are consulting closely with Poland and other allies.”

“We fully stand in solidarity with our close ally Poland,” he added.

The Baltic states also reaffirmed their solidarity with Poland.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said on social media: “Worrying news from Poland tonight about at least two explosions.”

“Lithuania stands in solidarity with Poland”.

“Every inch of NATO territory must be defended!”

For his part, the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Petr Fiala, declared on Tuesday that he “firmly supports our ally of the European Union and NATO”, Poland, waiting for the Polish authorities to confirm the fall of rockets or missiles in the country.

“If Poland confirms that the missiles also landed on its territory, it will be a new escalation by Russia. We strongly support our EU and NATO ally,” Fiala said in a tweet. “Today’s massive missile attacks by the Russian army against Ukraine clearly show that Russia wants to further terrorize her people and destroy the country,” Fiala added.