Latvia expresses "full solidarity" with Poland after suspected Russian missile strike

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Latvia will stand shoulder to shoulder with NATO ally Poland following reports of a Russian missile strike.

Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs was quick to react, denouncing what he called a "dangerous escalation by the Kremlin" as Russia extends its military aggression into territory covered by the Alliance's collective defense pact. 

Defense Minister Artis Pabriks also reacted, citing NATO's Article 4, which states that members can bring any issue of concern, especially related to the security of a member country, to the table for discussion within the North Atlantic Council. Since the Alliance’s creation in 1949, Article 4 has been invoked several times. Pabriks also suggested barring Russia from the United Nations.

Speaking to LTV Tuesday night, Pabriks said: "We must wait for Poland's reaction and wait until their security council has finished meeting," but suggested that one option might be for NATO members to extend air defense over "at least part of Ukrainian territory".

International media reported Tuesday night that two people had been killed by a suspected missile strike on Polish territory close to the border with Ukraine, though full details remain to be confirmed. It is unclear whether it was a deliberate attack on Poland, a botched attack on Ukraine or some other combination of factors resulting from Russian aggression. More details are awaited from the scene, reportedly in the village of Przewodów.

Poland called a meeting of its national security council and NATO allies have been quick to express their support. NATO and national leaders have repeatedly expressed their readiness to defend every inch of Alliance territory.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg underlined that all the facts relating to the incident are established.

Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš reiterated that NATO's commitment to defense is "rock solid" and said he had called a government meeting for 10:00 Wednesday to discuss the security situation in the region and "to be ready for further action".


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