NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday there would be no calls to initiate Article 4 until the outcome of an investigation into the “explosion” on Poland’s eastern border that killed two was completed.
“I spoke with [President Andrzej Duda] last night, we agreed on the importance of awaiting the outcome of the investigation,” Stoltenberg told reporters. “We don’t have the final outcome on that, we have no indication that this was a deliberate attack.”
Stoltenberg, Duda and President Biden have signaled that preliminary results of the investigation show that the rocket that landed in the Polish village of Przewodów on Tuesday was likely not a Russian missile but part of Ukraine’s air defense systems.
The NATO chief said officials would act accordingly based on the final results of the investigation.
On Thursday Duda’s administration said he had informed Stoltenberg that it was “highly probable” that the Polish ambassador to NATO “will request to invoke Article 4.”
Fox News could not immediately reach Duda’s office for comment on if the Polish government is in agreement with Stoltenberg to on hold off on convening NATO members until the investigation is complete.
Article 4 in the NATO charter allows any member nation to bring forward a security concern by convening a meeting at the North Atlantic Council to “consult” on issues relating to independence, sovereignty, or security.
Initiating Article 4 could be seen as a prelude to employing Article 5 – which calls for a collective defense if there is an attack on even one member nation – though initiating Article 4 does not mean that NATO allies have to take direct action.
The consultation of all NATO member nations would send a strong signal to an aggressor, like Russia, that the military alliance is taking seriously the issue at hand.
NATO maintains that Kyiv is not “at fault” for the explosion that killed two Poles even if it is confirmed that Ukrainian air defense systems landed in Poland.
Stoltenberg said Wednesday that Russia “bears ultimate responsibility” for the tragedy because of its ongoing war in Ukraine.