Poland puts military units on heightened readiness, considering NATO Article 4
Poland is putting some military units on a heightened state of readiness, following reports that Russian missiles landed on Polish territory, government spokesman Piotr Muller said on Tuesday.
“There has been a decision to raise the state of readiness of some combat units and other uniformed services,” Muller said after an emergency national security council meeting was convened in Warsaw.
He also added that the Polish government is verifying if it needs to request consultations under Article 4 of the NATO military alliance treaty. “A moment ago we decided to verify whether there are grounds to launch procedures under Article 4 of the North Atlantic Treaty.”
Article 4 involves a NATO member bringing a security concern to the table for discussion within the members, and the decision afterwards needs to be unanimous.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said he spoke with Poland's President Andrzej Duda, and said on Twitter: “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.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Polish firefighters reported two people were killed in an explosion in Przewodow, a village in eastern Poland near the border with Ukraine.
The Associated Press cited a senior US intelligence official as saying the explosion was due to Russian missiles crossing into Poland. However, the Pentagon said it could not yet confirm the report and that it was looking into the matter.
The explosion in Poland coincided with a wave of Russian missile strikes across Ukraine, which left seven million homes without electricity.
Russia’s Defense Ministry called the Polish statements about Russian missiles falling into its territory a “provocation”, state news agency TASS reported on Tuesday.
It said that there were no missile strikes by Russian weapons near the Ukrainian-Polish border that way, and that the wreckage the Polish media showed from the scene of the incident had nothing to do with Russian weapons.