Administration

Biden speaks with Polish President Duda after Russia missile strike

President Biden called Polish President Andrzej Duda on Tuesday after Russian missiles crossed the border and killed two people in Poland, reiterating the “ironclad commitment” of the United States to the NATO alliance.

Biden offered his condolences for the loss of life in eastern Poland, according to a readout from the White House. The strike, which could signal an escalation of Russia’s war in Ukraine because it happened beyond the border, occurred on Tuesday evening near a grain silo in a village on the border.

Duda described to Biden Poland’s ongoing assessment of the explosion, and Biden offered “full U.S support for and assistance” with Poland’s investigation into it. Biden and Duda also said that they and their teams should remain in close touch to determine appropriate next steps as the investigation proceeds.  

Poland is a NATO ally, and “Biden reaffirmed the United States’ ironclad commitment to NATO,” according to the White House.

Biden called Duda from Bali, Indonesia, just before 5:30 a.m. local time on Wednesday morning. Biden is in Bali for the Group of 20 summit with world leaders. Right after talking to Duda, Biden also spoke by phone with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Russia first invaded Ukraine in February, and since then, there have been fears the conflict could spill over into countries bordering Ukraine that are NATO members, such as Poland. Biden has repeatedly said that in such an instance, the U.S. would uphold Article 5, which is the North Atlantic Treaty clause that says allies consider an attack on one an attack on all. 

Biden has also promised that though the U.S. will not directly engage in Ukraine, it “will defend every inch of NATO territory.”

The White House was quickly in touch with Poland in the wake of the strike on Tuesday. National security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke with Jacek Siewiera, chief of the National Security Bureau of Poland, as the Polish National Security Council convened.

Earlier on Tuesday, Sullivan had condemned the latest Russian missile attack in Ukraine, and he noted that it occurred while Biden and other world leaders were meeting in Bali without Russian President Vladimir Putin. The airstrike follows Russia’s retreat from Kherson, which marked a major blow to Moscow’s war effort.

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