RIGA - After reports that two Russian missiles hit Poland's territory on Tuesday, the security situation in Latvia has not changed, Defense Minister Artis Pabriks (Development/For) said on Latvian Television on Wednesday morning.
NATO officials have said that the alliance is thoroughly checking these unconfirmed reports and maintains close contacts with Polish authorities.
In the interview with Latvian Television, Pabriks indicated that the security situation in Latvia has not changed. "Residents of Latvia can feel quite safe even after this incident. The only thing our ministers can do at today's Cabinet meeting is to learn more about the situation and hear reports of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense," Pabriks said.
Also, a serious investigation is needed to draw any conclusion about the incident in Poland. "It takes thorough research to establish the type of these missiles and where they came from. The first reaction was that these were Russian missiles," the defense minister said.
"To ensure a correct political and security response to this event, we have to wait for conclusive findings. Once these findings are there, Poland will likely invoke Article 4 [of the North Atlantic Treaty], which means consultations on the security situation and Poland's defense in the region," Pabriks said.
The defense minister indicated that currently there are several hypotheses of what actually happened in Poland. "It might be a missile launched from Russian territory or a Russian aircraft. It might be a missile launched from Belarus. It might be Ukraine's air defense rocket trying to shoot down a Russian missile," Pabriks said.
"We always have to keep in mind that if not for Russia's criminal invasion of Ukraine, we would not be talking about these missiles last night or this morning, that's for sure," the minister added.
Lukasz Jasina, spokesman for the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, informed on Wednesday morning that a Russian-made missile hit the Polish village of Przewodow near the border with Ukraine on Tuesday afternoon, killing two people.
Moscow's ambassador has been summoned to provide "immediate detailed explanations" and the military had been put on heightened alert after an emergency national security council meeting, Polish authorities said.