Will Poland invoke Article 5? Alleged Russian missile attack sparks fears ahead of NATO meet

Article 5 says any attack on a NATO member in Europe or North America 'shall be considered an attack against them all'

Will Poland invoke Article 5? Alleged Russian missile attack sparks fears ahead of NATO meet
NATO invoked Article 5 for the first time after the 9/11 attack against the United States (Representational image by Omar Marques/Getty Images and @WaldemarKowall/Twitter)
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WARSAW, POLAND: Russia's alleged missile attack has set off fears over Polish response ahead of a scheduled NATO meet. Many have raised questions over whether Article 5 could be invoked, but there is no confirmation yet. Article 5 says any attack on a NATO member in Europe or North America “shall be considered an attack against them all.” NATO invoked Article 5 for the first time after the 9/11 attack against the United States.

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Once the principle of collective self-defense under the treaty is invoked, NATO can come to its defense with “such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.” However, this does not mean any attack on a NATO member automatically triggers a state of war.

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“It’s not like a trigger mechanism. It doesn’t mean that tomorrow every single country in NATO responds with a full military invasion of Russia,” said Joel Rubin, a former deputy assistant secretary of State, according to The Hill. “If you think about it, if [it’s a trigger mechanism], you’ve given Russia all control over the battlefield. They decide when there is a war. They decide whether or not we get involved. No. We have control. We have agency over what our actions are,” Rubin said.

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Rubin added, "Article 5 is an incredibly powerful diplomatic tool. So it gives options for a  Polish response. That’s what it does. It gives options. It doesn’t give requirements."

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NATO members are set to meet on Wednesday, November 16. Poland is reportedly considering invoking Article 4 of the NATO military alliance treaty, a government spokesman said on Tuesday, November 15. This comes after a report that a blast killed two people near the Ukrainian border was caused by stray Russian missiles.

According to the United States and Western allies, an investigation is underway to determine whether the blast in the village of Przewodow resulted from stray Russian missiles. Russia's defence ministry, however, denied it. "A moment ago we decided to verify whether there are grounds to launch procedures under Article 4 of the North Atlantic Treaty," government spokesman Piotr Muller told reporters, according to US News

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Muller added, "It was decided a moment ago to increase the readiness of some combat military units in Poland and to increase the combat readiness of other units of uniformed services in our country."

Many on social media have expressed fears over how Poland is going to respond. "Poland please don't invoke article 5 i like existing and not being turned into radioactive dust," one user wrote. "The amount of people clamoring for NATO Article 5 to be invoked over the Poland missile strike is pure insanity to me Cooler heads must prevail, World War III must be avoided," wrote another.

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"Condolences to the two families who were connected to the victims who died during the missile attack but Poland please don't declare Article 5- No one wants world war 3-," one user wrote, while another said, "POLLAND DONT INVOKE ARTICLE 5, IT WAS ONLY TWO PEOPLE, ITS NOT WORTH IT POLAND". One user wrote, "poland please dont invoke article 5 i dont want the world to go to rubble xoxo prosze".

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This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.

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