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NATO investigates reported Russian missiles in Poland — LIVE – DW – 11/15/2022

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  • Poland considering NATO Article 4 activation
  • Russian missiles cross into NATO member Poland, AP reports, citing US intelligence official
  • Russia’s defence ministry denies Russian missiles struck Polish territory
  • NATO, US, EU and UK say they are looking into the reports 
  • The news come after missile strikes hit critical infrastructure across Ukraine, including in Kyiv

This live article was last updated at 23:12 UTC.

Missiles landing in Poland no coincidence: Olexander Scherba, former Ukrainian Ambassador

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British PM pledges support for allies

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak took to Twitter to say that talks between himself, the foreign secretary and the defence secretary had taken place.

Sunak said that the British government “was urgently looking into reports of a missile strike in Poland and will support our allies as they establish what has happened.”

Sunak went on to say: “We are also coordinating with our international partners, including NATO.”

Kremlin had no information on explosion in Poland, Ukraine denies it is theirs

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he had no information on an explosion in Poland.

“Unfortunately, I have no information on this,” Peskov said in response to a question from the Reuters news agency.

Earlier Russia’s Defence Ministry called reports a Russian missile had landed inside the borders of NATO member Poland a “deliberate provocation” to spread false news about Russia.

Russia pounded Ukraine’s energy facilities Tuesday with its biggest barrage of missiles yet, striking targets across the country and causing widespread blackouts.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s said allegations that one of its own missiles had landed in Poland were a “conspiracy theory.”

“Russia now promotes a conspiracy theory that it was allegedly a missile of Ukrainian air defense that fell on the territory of Poland. This is not true. No one should buy Russian propaganda or amplify its messages,” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Twitter.

UK ‘urgently’ looking into missile reports

Britain’s Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said on Twitter that the UK was “urgently” looking into reports of missiles landing in Polish territory.

“We are urgently looking into reports of missiles landing in Poland, and are in contact with our Polish friends and NATO allies,” Cleverly’s tweeted

Earlier the British politician had tweeted about “The callous targeting of Ukrainian cities with more sickening missile attacks,” saying that it “shows only Putin’s weakness.”

EU leaders to meet on sidelines of G20

European Council President Charles Michel will call an emergency meeting of EU leaders at the G20 summit.

“I will propose a coordination meeting on Wednesday with EU leaders attending G20 here in Bali,” Michel said in a tweet following a conversation with Poland’s Prime Minister Mateus Morawiecki.

He assured Poland’s premier of the bloc’s support after the deadly blast.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said  she was “alarmed” by reports of an explosion in Poland.

“We are closely monitoring the situation and are in touch with Polish authorities and partners and allies”, she said on Twitter.

Roberta Metsola, the president of the European Parliament, also said she was “deeply concerned at developments in Poland.”

She added her “thoughts & solidarity are with the people of Poland.”

Polish president talking to Biden

Polish President Andrzej Duda spoke with US President Joe Biden.

“The conversation between the US and Polish presidents is ongoing,” Polish presidential adviser Jakub Kumoch said on Twitter.

The discussion comes after Warsaw placed its military on heightened alert after an emergency national security council meeting.

In the US, Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder said the US was “looking into” media reports that Russian missiles had landed inside

Poland but he added, “when it comes to our security commitments and Article V we have been crystal clear that we will defend every inch of NATO territory.”

The US State Department said Washington “will determine what happened and what appropriate next steps would be.”

We will defend every inch of NATO territory: Pentagon Spokesman Patrick Ryder

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Poland considering NATO Article 4 activation

Polish President Andrzej Duda discussed consultations under Article 4 of the NATO military alliance with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg his office said on Twitter. 

It is the part of the NATO treaty that covers the case when a member state feels threatened by another country.

Stoltenberg said NATO was “monitoring the situation and Allies are closely consulting,” after two people died in an explosion in a Polish village near the border with Ukraine.

Allies are investigating unconfirmed reports the blast was caused by stray Russian missiles.

Stoltenberg said it was, “important that all facts are established.”

Polish government spokesman Piotr Muller said Poland was also increasing the readiness of some military units.

Poland is a vocal supporter of Ukraine: DW’s Grzegorz Szymanowski

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EU’s Michel says Europe stand with Poland

The European Union stands with Poland, the president of the European Council Charles Michel, said in a tweet.

He added hew as shocked by the news that people have been killed.

“I am in contact with Polish authorities, members of the European Council and other allies.” he wrote. 

Zelenskyy slams ‘significant escalation’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of firing missiles into Polish territory.

In a video message, Zelenskyy described the strike as a blow to collective security. He also said the strike was a “significant escalation.”

“Today, something that we have been warning for a long time has also happened. Terror is not limited to our state borders. Russian missiles hit Poland … Hit missiles on NATO territory. This is a Russian missile attack on collective security! This is a very significant escalation,” Zelensky said in a video message.

NATO expected to hold meeting 

A NATO official told DW’s Teri Schultz in Brussels that officials were looking into the reports and consulting closely with Poland.

Schultz reported it was highly likely there would be an Article 4 meeting at NATO in Brussels on Wednesday morning.  

Article 4 of the NATO treaty covers the case when a member state feels threatened by another country or a terrorist organization.  The talks look at whether a threat exists and how to counter it, with decisions arrived at unanimously. Article 4 does not, however, mean that there will be direct pressure to act.

US ‘looking into’ reports

The Pentagon said it could not confirm the reports.

“We are aware of the press reports alleging that two Russian missiles have struck a location inside Poland near the Ukraine border. I can tell you that we don’t have any information at this time to corroborate those reports and are looking into this further,” Pentagon spokesperson Patrick Ryder told a news briefing.

The White House National Security Council also said it was verifying the news.

“We’ve seen these reports out of Poland and are working with the Polish government to gather more information,” NSC spokeswoman Adrienne Watson wrote on Twitter. 

Russia denies involvement

Russia’s Defense Ministry has called the reports “a deliberate provocation.”

It said Russian forces did not fire any missiles in the area and rejected responsibility

“Statements by Polish media and officials about ‘Russian’ missiles allegedly falling in the area of the settlement of Przewodow are a deliberate provocation aimed  at escalating the situation,” the ministry said in a statement.

It added that images shared by Polish media showed no sign of Russian weapons.

Neighboring countries respond to reports

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Berlin was “monitoring the situation closely.”

She said Berlin was in contact with neighboring Poland and other NATO allies.

Latvian Deputy Prime Minister Artis Pabriks, who is also Latvia’s defense minister, said explosions in the Polish village were caused by a missile strike, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Pabriks told the newspaper that Polish officials confirmed the news about missiles strikes.

“Criminal Russian regime fired missiles which target not only Ukrainian civilians but also landed on NATO territory in Poland. Latvia fully stands with Polish friends and condemns this crime,” Pabriks wrote on Twitter.

The Hungarian government spokesperson, Zoltan Kovacs, said that Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban has convened a meeting of the Defense Council as well. The meeting is underway.

Kovacs said the meeting was in response to the “stop the oil transfer through the Druzbha pipeline and the missile hitting territory of Poland.”

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala wrote on Twitter that if Poland confirmed the alleged Russian missile strikes, it “will be a further escalation by Russia.”

Fiala added that Czech Republic stood “firmly behind our EU and NATO ally.”

A general view of National Security Bureau as meeting of the security committee is on the way in connection with the missile attack on the territory of Poland, in Warsaw, Poland, November 15, 2022
Poland convened an emergency meeting after the blastImage: Maciek Jazwiecki/Agencja via REUTERS

Poland convenes emergency meeting

Piotr Mueller, the spokesman for Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, wrote on Twitter that the premier has called for an emergency meeting with national security ministers and defense ministers.

Mueller said the urgent meeting was due to a “crisis situation.”

Russian missiles cross into NATO member Poland: report

Russian missile strikes have crossed into Poland, killing two people, the Associated Press (AP) news agency reported on Tuesday.

Polish media reported that two people died Tuesday afternoon after a projectile struck Przewodow, a Polish village near the border with Ukraine.

The AP cited a US intelligence official, but the Pentagon said it could not confirm the reports.

Russia missiles strike Ukrainian cities, knock out power in Moldova

Russian missiles struck briefly multiple Ukrainian cities earlier on Tuesday, hours after Ukrainian President Zelenksyy delivered a video address to leaders of the G20 in Bali, Indonesia, calling upon leaders to end the war and isolate Russia diplomatically.

Zelenskyy said some 85 Russian missiles rained down on several Ukrainian cities, including in capital city Kyiv.

Other major Ukrainian cities reported massive power outages following the strikes. 

Moldova also lost power Tuesday temporarily, after Russian missiles strikes on Ukrainian energy infrastructure downed a key power transmission line to the small nation to the south of Ukraine.

lo,rm/fb (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)