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Polish missile strike highlights risk of Ukrainian war escalation

A deadly missile attack on a Polish village near the Ukrainian border has highlighted the greatest horrors of the war in Ukraine.

At 3:40 p.m. on Tuesday, Missile hits Przewodówkilled two people local media said were farm workers, near Poland’s southeastern border with Ukraine.

This part of Poland war Since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Ukrainian roads have carried millions of refugees fleeing conflict in one direction and in the other. , has brought in billions of dollars in Western military equipment to help Ukraine fight back. .

Tuesday’s explosion marks the first time war has been brought directly to Polish territory.It reflects the enormous threat of conflict-induced escalation and how dangerously close Europe is to war between the world’s two largest nuclear powers. remind me of

In the turbulent initial aftermath of the incident, accusations flew. An Associated Press report, citing an unnamed senior US intelligence official, said the explosion was caused by a Russian missile that entered Poland.

First, official US channels refused to corroborate AP’s story. US President Joe Biden later said it was “unlikely” that the missile was launched from Russia. And by Wednesday morning, NATO and he said information shared at an emergency meeting of G7 officials could be a Ukrainian air defense missile fired at a Russian missile.

Attribution is important. If investigators conclude that the missile was launched by Russia, this would be the first time NATO territory has been attacked by Russian forces since the aggression began. An important decision will be made.The US-led military alliance has a mutual defense clause that, if invoked, calls on all allies to respond to such attacks.

Poland’s reaction speaks for itself. Ukrainian officials were quick to suggest that Moscow was responsible, but the Polish statement was ambiguous. left.

“At the moment there is no conclusive evidence as to who launched this missile,” Polish President Andrzej Duda told reporters after an emergency security meeting with the Polish government. It was a “one-off incident,” he said.

The Russian Defense Ministry has denied responsibility for the explosion and said the missile launch claim was a “deliberate provocation intended to escalate the situation.”

During a series of conference calls Tuesday night between Duda and Western leaders, including Biden, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the critical Message repeated.

Warsaw will likely hold NATO deliberations on Wednesday to request consultations under Article 4 of the Military Alliance Treaty, which can be invoked if “the territorial integrity, political independence or security of either party is threatened”. He said that he would use the association’s meetings.

This is separate from NATO’s Article 5 on mutual defense assistance in the event of an attack and potential military response from the remaining 30 allies.

Such talks make sense regardless of the perpetrators of Tuesday night’s explosions.Polish territory has been attacked, civilians have been killed and NATO must show unity. Before Putin’s invasion,

But NATO is unlikely to give in to a knee-jerk response. Avoiding escalation has become the mantra of NATO’s authority, sometimes to Kyiv’s frustration.

At the same time, U.S. and NATO leaders have repeatedly emphasized their “ironproof” commitment to defense.every inchBiden reiterated to Duda on Tuesday night, according to the White House.

Tuesday’s incident also highlighted those on the country’s western border where spillovers are inseparable from direct involvement, while containing war on Ukrainian soil is a policy priority for most NATO allies. emphasized that it is an urgent national security issue for

Who fired what, when, and at whom will become clear as Poland, Ukraine and Russia conduct their investigations. But the war between nuclear-armed Russia and NATO could end in just one miscalculation.

https://www.ft.com/content/5dd657b6-f5f2-4de9-aa75-a7e86605f9e7 Polish missile strike highlights risk of Ukrainian war escalation

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