NATO to hold emergency talks in hours after Poland triggers Article 4 in major escalation


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An emergency NATO meeting will take place later today after a missile hit a Polish village, killing two people. Poland Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki urged local residents to stay “calm” after deaths.There was alarm last night at the cause of the missile attack with fears a stray Russian rocket was responsible.The development would be a significant escalation in the Ukraine war. Under NATO’s Article 5 an attack against one ally is considered an attack on all, and all members are expected to act together. It has only been triggered once for the 9/11 terror attacks on the US in 2001.However, Western officials have since suggested the rocket might have been a misfired Ukraine anti-missile attempting to protect the country from a barrage of strikes by Russia.NATO ambassadors will meet today at the request of Poland to discuss the incident.It comes after Jens Stoltenberg spoke to Polish President Andrzej Duda last mnight.The NATO general secretary tweeted afterwards: “Spoke with President Duda about the explosion in Poland. I offered my condolences for the loss of life.”NATO is monitoring the situation and allies are closely consulting. Important that all facts are established.”US President Joe Biden also spoke to the Polish president on Tuesday evening as NATO weighs up how to respond.A White House statement said: “The President spoke by phone with President Andrzej Duda of Poland from Bali, Indonesia. The call concluded at 5.30am local time.”Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “I have just spoken with the Foreign Secretary and Defence Secretary. We are urgently looking into reports of a missile strike in Poland and will support our allies as they establish what has happened. We are also coordinating with our international partners, including NATO.”Mr Sunak also spoke to Mr Duda on Tuesday evening and “reiterated the UK’s solidarity” with the NATO member.Foreign Secretary James Cleverly added: “We are urgently looking into reports of missiles landing in Poland, and are in contact with our Polish friends and NATO allies.”It comes as world leaders are currently at the G20 summit in Bali.News that Russian missiles had crossed into Poland sparked fears of an escalation in Moscow’s conflict with Ukraine.Polish media reported that two people died on Tuesday afternoon after a projectile struck an area where grain was drying in Przewodow, a Polish village near the border with Ukraine.Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said it was a “significant escalation”.Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte said: “Serious reports about missiles landing in Poland and causing fatalities.”We’re in close contact with Poland and our other NATO allies. It’s important now to establish exactly what has happened. We are monitoring the situation very closely.”European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she was “alarmed” by the reports from Poland.She tweeted: “Alarmed by reports of an explosion in Poland, following a massive Russian missile strike on Ukrainian cities.”I extend my condolences and my strongest message of support and solidarity with Poland and our Ukrainian friends.”European Council President Charles Michel said: “Shocked by the news of a missile or other ammunition having killed people on Polish territory.”My condolences to the families. We stand with Poland. I am in contact with Polish authorities, members of the European Council and other allies.”


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