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Czech Army Head Urges Patience and Calm From Leaders Following Missile Explosion In Poland

Poland has not specified who fired the missile. Russia has denied its involvement. Photo credit: Freepik.

Prague, Nov 16 (CTK) – Czech Army Chief of Staff Karel Rehka has responded on Twitter to yesterday’s explosion of a missile in Poland, saying that the priority for leaders should be to keep quiet, wait for further information and evaluate the facts.

He added that the military is ready to support any response agreed upon by NATO, of which both the Czech Republic and Poland are members.

Last night, the Polish Foreign Ministry said a missile made in Russia fell in Przewodow in eastern Poland near the border with Ukraine, killing two people. The missile fell during an intense assault by Russian forces on energy infrastructure across Ukraine, including in the west of the country near the border of Poland.

In the most extensive new wave of air attacks since the start of the war, according to Kyiv, Russia fired missiles at towns and energy infrastructure all over Ukraine yesterday. More than 7 million households in the country were without power supplies last night, according to the Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform, quoting Kyrylo Tymoshenko, head of the Ukrainian Presidential Office.

Poland has not specified who fired the missile. Russia has denied its involvement.

US President Joe Biden said the missile was unlikely to have been fired from Russia and promised support to Warsaw in the investigation into the incident.

“At the moment, it is certain that an explosion occurred in Poland caused by the fall of a type of ammunition. In the current situation, it is most important to keep quiet, wait for further information and carefully evaluate the facts,” said Rehka, adding that the military was doing exactly this.

Further comments are premature, he said.

“The territory of Poland is the territory of NATO. As a result, it is also our territory and we are ready to support any response on which we will agree in the alliance,” he added.

Poland has said it will step up the protection of its airspace and the investigation is still underway. NATO ambassadors will meet later today to discuss the incident.

Poland is likely to activate NATO’s Article 4, which initiates consultations in the event of a threat to any NATO member countries.

Rehka’s comments follow remarks from several Czech politicians last night, including Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS), that confirmation of Russian-made missiles landing on Polish territory would constitute a further escalation in the nine-month conflict in Ukraine. Defence Minister Jana Cernochova (ODS) told Denik N that it would be an escalation of the situation even if it were a mistake.

Marek Zenisek (TOP 09), head of the Chamber of Deputies foreign affairs committee, described the incident as an act of aggression against a NATO member state, which should at least trigger the activation of Article 4, as consultations should take place whenever the territorial integrity, political independence and security of any member is threatened.

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