Putin has broken his silence on the Poland missile crash and has accused Warsaw of ‘deliberate escalation’.
EKO HOT BLOG reports that Russia’s Ministry of Defense has claimed that reports of two Russian missiles landing in a village in Poland and killing two people are a “deliberate provocation”.
The Ministry bafflingly added: “No strikes were made against targets near the Ukrainian-Polish state border by Russian weapons”, despite multiple recorded instances of Russian air strikes hitting Lviv, a Ukrainian city about 62 miles south of the village of Przewodów and only 50 miles from the Ukrainian border, just hours earlier today.
The statement concluded: “The fragments published in hot pursuit by the Polish media from the scene in the village of Przewoduv have nothing to do with Russian weapons”.
Poland’s Armed Forces are on “high alert” following the explosion, while a senior US intelligence official told AP that the strike did indeed come from Russia.
Warsaw is understood to be considering whether it should invoke Article 4 of the NATO treaty.
As Poland is part of NATO, the killing of two people with explosions on Polish soil could prove a serious escalation of the conflict.
Mateusz Morawiecki, Poland’s prime minister, urgently convened the country’s council of ministers for national security and defence, the government spokesperson, Piotr Müller, said – without immediately specifying the reason for the emergency meeting.
Czech’s Defence Minister also said she considered it “confirmed” that Russia had fired a missile into Poland, adding that they did not yet know why this had happened.
The UK Foreign Office told Express.co.uk it was urgently seeking clarity on the incident.
France is reportedly carrying out a “removal of doubt” after the explosions in Poland, alongside other NATO allies.
Meanwhile, CNN reported that US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is expected to speak with his Polish counterpart later today, quoting a European military official and a US official.
Joe Biden has also asked Congress to approve more than $37billion (£31.7billion) in emergency aid to Ukraine. The additional funding, on top of the aid and equipment the US has already provided throughout the invasion, could provide the nation’s military with further reinforcements as Russia’s defensive lines begin to be established ahead of the winter.
The US President’s funding request, which comes as Congress begins to sit following the midterm elections, also includes $9.25billion in Covid funds to prepare for a potential surge of cases in America in the coming colder months.
An attack on a NATO member such as Poland could lead to the country invoking Article 5, in which an attack on one member is considered to be an attack on all.
This is unlikely to be triggered in this instance.
Possibly more likely is Article 4, which calls for Allies to consult together when “in the opinion of any one of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the parties is threatened”.
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