Heightened alert in Poland following reports of Russian missile strikes

The US and NATO said they are reviewing the reports of the missile hits.

Heightened alert in Poland following reports of Russian missile strikes

The US and NATO said they are reviewing the reports of the missile hits. However, there was initially no official confirmation from Warsaw, Washington or Brussels.

Polish government spokesman Piotr Müller did not mention the reports of rocket attacks after the Security Council's crisis meeting in the evening and emphasized that investigators were on site after an explosion in the east of the country that killed two people "to clarify what happened". According to Polish media reports, the explosion happened in a grain warehouse in the village of Przewodow near the border with Ukraine.

In a first reaction, the government in Moscow dismissed the reports as "provocations" intended to cause an escalation. Images of debris in Przewodow published in the Polish media are "not related to Russian firepower".

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned against hasty reactions. "It is important that all facts are established," Stoltenberg wrote on Twitter after a phone call with Polish President Andrzej Duda: "NATO is monitoring the situation and the alliance partners are coordinating closely." The US State Department said Washington will "clarify what happened and what the appropriate next steps would be."

French President Emmanuel Macron called for a discussion about the incident at the G20 summit in Bali. EU Council President Charles Michel was "shocked" and said he would call an emergency meeting of the EU heads of state and government attending the Bali summit, including Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD).

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy directly accused Russia of firing rockets at Poland, causing a "very significant escalation". Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called for an "immediate" NATO summit to discuss a joint response. He also rejected the suspicion that a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile could have landed on Polish territory. This is a "conspiracy theory" promoted by Russia, he wrote on Twitter.

Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) said on Twitter that the federal government was "closely" following the situation. Berlin is in contact with the government in Warsaw and NATO. "My thoughts are with Poland, our close ally and neighbor," Baerbock wrote.

According to NATO, the government in Warsaw could theoretically invoke Article 4 of the North Atlantic Treaty and demand a discussion between the 30 allies. Such a decision has not yet been made, it said in Brussels.

In Article 4, the NATO states promise "consultation" in all cases in which a member sees "its territorial integrity, political independence or security" at risk. However, this does not necessarily result in common steps.

Russia fired dozens of rockets at Ukrainian cities on Tuesday, including Lviv near the border with Poland. According to Kiev, the attacks led to power outages in around seven million households. Moldova, which borders Ukraine, also reported power outages as a result of the attacks on Ukraine and called on Russia to "stop the destruction immediately."