NATO chief issues new statement after urgent talks with Poland on triggering Article 4

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Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg tonight spoke to Polish President Andrzej Duda following reports that Russian missiles crossed into the member state killing two people. Mr Stoltenberg said the military alliance was “monitoring the situation and allies are closely consulting”.

The pair discussed whether to invoke Article 4 to bring together all 30 member states for discussion.

The Nato general secretary tweeted: “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.”

Mr Duda’s office added: “President Andrzej Duda just finished talking to Jens Stoltenberg. We verify the premises of Article 4 of Nato. We are in contact with our allies and we expect talks with the American side.”

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.”

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.

However, little information is so far known about how the incident might have occurred.

Under Nato’s Article 5 an attack against one ally is considered an attack against all and if it is invoked they are expected to come to the aid of the country attacked. It has not been triggered since the 9/11 terror attacks on the US in 2001.

Nato’s members include the US, Canada, UK and many European countries.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said: “We are urgently looking into reports of missiles landing in Poland, and are in contact with our Polish friends and Nato allies.”

Polish government spokesman Piotr Mueller said an emergency meeting was being held due to a “crisis situation”.

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”.

But Russia has denied responsibility, branding the reports a “deliberate provocation to escalate the situation”.

Other leaders in Europe expressed concern about the reports that Russian missiles crossed into the Nato member.

Under Nato’s Article 5 an attack against one ally is considered an attack against all. It has not been triggered since the 9/11 terror attacks on the US in 2001.

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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