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IMMINENT WARNING: POLAND TO INVOKE NATO’S ARTICLE 4 AFTER RUSSIAN MISSILES ALLEGEDLY HIT PRZEWODO

Date: November 15, 2022

Pètra van de Gevel, Elvire Vérant, EUCOM Team; Breyona Woods, EMH2 Team Team; Juliet Sites, SOUTHCOM Team; Christine Saddy, IFET Team

Jennifer Loy, Chief of Staff


Przewodow, Poland[1]


Event: On November 15, 2022, alleged Russian missiles landed in the eastern Polish village of Przewodow, killing two people, according to a US intelligence official who wants to remain anonymous due to the sensitive nature of the situation.[2] This is the first time that Russian missiles have allegedly landed across Ukraine’s borders and in the territory of NATO member Poland.[3] Piotr Mueller, a Polish government spokesperson, did not confirm the incident but stated that Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki has called an emergency meeting of a committee for national security and defense affairs due to a ‘’crisis situation.’’[4] Russia’s Ministry of Defense stated that the statements of Russian missiles in the area of Przewodow by Polish officials are a ‘’deliberate provocation to escalate the situation’’ and that there were no strikes near the Ukrainian-Polish border.[5] Since Poland is part of NATO, it operates under the principle of collective defense which is enshrined in Article 5 of the alliance’s treaty, meaning that an armed attack against a NATO country is considered an attack against the entire military alliance.[6] Polish media reported that the incident likely is a result of a malfunction or Russian missile interception by Ukraine.[7] During the Polish government’s press conference it was stated that Poland is considering invoking NATO’s Article 4; consultation within NATO to unanimously decide on whether the event is an impending threat to its territorial integrity, political independence, or security.


Significance: This incident, whether intentional or not, will almost certainly trigger a NATO emergency meeting to convene the possibilities of the next steps of action. Poland will almost certainly invoke NATO’s Article 4 of the treaty. NATO consultation will very likely result in more support for Poland and Ukraine, particularly by bolstering Poland’s and Ukraine's air defense system by providing additional intelligence support from the alliance headquarters and its members. NATO will very likely provide Ukraine with additional weapons to counter incoming Russian missile attacks. NATO will likely gather troops in Poland and other member countries like Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary, bordering Ukraine, to anticipate any future spillover. Russian President Vladimir Putin will almost certainly monitor NATO's response, likely condemning any NATO actions. Russia will very likely increase disinformation targeting NATO, domestically and internationally, and there will be a roughly even chance of Russian retaliation in the form of cyber attacks against Poland and/or NATO infrastructures. In the next few hours and days, Poland will very likely send military troops near its border with Ukraine to reassure the local population while details of the incident are unfolding, and will likely increase air patrolling to counter potential aerial threats spilling over from the Russia-Ukraine war.


Recommendations

  • The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) recommends NATO provides an immediate response to the incident. Poland should draft what it believes would be an appropriate response from NATO to remedy the attack. If it is confirmed the missiles originated from Russia or an ally, the CTG does not recommend NATO-aligned countries use sanctions and embargoes as a response against Russia, as these efforts have been ineffective.

  • The CTG recommends the Polish government implement a no-fly zone over its Ukrainian-Polish border as Poland has the right to defend itself under Article 4 of the North Atlantic Treaty and article 51 of the UN Charter.

  • The CTG recommends surrounding Eastern European countries remain vigilant of potential regional, geopolitical threats. If the missiles originated from Russia, former Soviet Union countries, specifically those bordering Ukraine, should bolster their quick reaction forces and warn active and reserve military members to be ready for a rapid recall.

  • The CTG recommends increased intelligence cooperation and coordination between NATO members and Ukraine to avoid any potential war spillover.

  • If there is any additional and or critical information please contact us at The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) by Telephone 202-643-248 or email info@counterterrorismgroup.com

 

[1] ‘’Przewodo’’ by Google Maps

[2] AP source: Russian missiles cross into Poland during strike, AP news, November 2022, https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-war-zelenskyy-kherson-9202c032cf3a5c22761ee71b52ff9d52?taid=6373e1a578439d000178fba6&utm_campaign=TrueAnthem&utm_medium=AP&utm_source=Twitter

[3] Russian missiles struck NATO ally Poland and killed 2 people as Putin's forces barraged Ukraine, a US defense official told the AP, Business Insider, November 2022, https://www.businessinsider.com/russian-missiles-landed-in-poland-nato-country-killed-people-ukraine-2022-11?international=true&r=US&IR=T

[4] Polish premier calls urgent meeting of national security committee, Reuters, November 2022, https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/polish-premier-calls-urgent-meeting-national-security-committee-2022-11-15/?taid=6373dbdad881e4000128cc30&utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=twitter

[5] NEXTA, Twitter, November 15, 2022, https://twitter.com/nexta_tv/status/1592608115014656000

[6] Russian missiles struck NATO ally Poland and killed 2 people as Putin's forces barraged Ukraine, a US defense official told the AP, Business Insider, November 2022, https://www.businessinsider.com/russian-missiles-landed-in-poland-nato-country-killed-people-ukraine-2022-11?international=true&r=US&IR=T

[7] Menendez warns of ‘consequences’ if Russia behind deadly strike on Poland, Politico, November 2022, https://www.politico.com/news/2022/11/15/russia-poland-missiles-00067016

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