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A US defense official told the Associated Press

A US intelligence official told The Associated Press that two people were killed after Russian missiles hit a village in eastern Poland on Tuesday. The incident appears to mark the first time that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war has spilled over Ukraine’s borders into the territory of a NATO member state.

The rockets fell in the village of Przyudov, in eastern Poland, a short distance from the western border of Ukraine. A Polish government official said the country’s prime minister had called an emergency meeting of the Defense Committee.

It is not immediately clear how NATO will react. Poland is a member of NATO, which operates according to the principle of collective defense – laid down in Article 5 of the alliance’s founding treaty. Under this agreement, an attack on a NATO country is considered an attack on the entire military alliance. But Article 5 has only been invoked once in NATO’s history, after the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001.

Article 5 states that NATO members will assist the party or parties attacked by “taking such measures as they deem necessary, individually and in concert with other parties, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain security in the North Atlantic region.”

It is not clear why the Russian projectiles landed in Poland, which could have a significant impact on how the coalition reacts.

The United States and its Western allies have repeatedly warned Russia that an attack on NATO territory would trigger a forceful response.

“We have a sacred Article 5 obligation to defend every inch of NATO territory with the full force of our collective might,” President Joe Biden said in March.

“We’ve seen these reports out of Poland and are working with the Polish government to gather more information,” Adrian Watson, a White House National Security Council spokesman, said Tuesday afternoon. “We can’t confirm the reports or any of the details at this time. We’ll determine what happened and what the next steps are.” Occasion “.

A Pentagon spokesman, Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said during a press conference that the United States is “aware of press reports alleging that two Russian missiles struck a location inside Poland near the Ukrainian border. I can tell you that we do not have any information at this time to corroborate these reports and research this further.”

Sen. Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters he did not believe the hit was intended.

“I have to believe that was a mistake on the part of Russia,” said Liz Goodwin of The Washington Post. “And I think if that’s the case, then Russia should come out very quickly and say so.”

The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and NATO did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Nor did the Russian government respond to any inquiries.

The incident immediately sparked comments from senior officials in neighboring countries.

“My condolences to our Polish brothers-in-arms. The criminal Russian regime fired missiles that not only targeted Ukrainian civilians but also fell on NATO territory in Poland. Latvia fully stands with Polish friends and condemns this crime,” Latvia’s defense minister said on Twitter.

A Hungarian government spokesman said that Prime Minister Viktor Orban will also convene a meeting of the country’s defense council in response to “the missile falling on Polish territory”.

The incident comes as Russia unleashed a barrage of missiles across Ukraine on Tuesday, leaving half of Kyiv’s population without electricity.


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