Prague expresses solidarity with Warsaw in wake of missile explosion
Czech officials have responded with concern to the news that two allegedly Russian missiles hit Polish territory on Tuesday, killing two people. Czechia has said it will coordinate with its EU and NATO partners and support whatever action is agreed on.
Shock, condemnation and expressions of solidarity with Poland filled the country’s social networks on the news that the war in Ukraine had spilled over into NATO territory.
Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala tweeted that Czechia is standing firmly behind its EU and NATO ally. “The Polish government is in session and security forces are investigating what exactly happened. We are ready to coordinate further steps with our Polish friends and we will address the situation within the EU” Mr. Fiala wrote. Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky also said Czechia was waiting for the outcome of a crisis session of Poland’s National Security Council in order to gain more information.
Defense Minister Jana Černochová tweeted that the explosion would be considered an escalation of the military conflict waged by Russia even if it wasn't intentional. We stand fully on the side of Poland and Ukraine, which is being bombed by the terrorist Putin regime. Whether it was a mistake or a provocation, it is another escalation of the conflict on the part of Russia and such an incident must not go unanswered," she wrote.
Meanwhile, the chief of staff of the Czech Army, Karel Řehka, has stressed the need to remain calm, await further information and carefully assess the facts. He said on Twitter on Wednesday morning that the army was ready to support any operations decided on by NATO.
Petr Pavel, former head of NATO’s Military Committee, who is now running for Czech president, also called for a level-headed approach to the crisis saying it was essential to first ascertain what exactly happened.
Czech Interior Minister Vít Rakušan moved to allay public concern over the incident saying on Twitter that the Czech Republic is not likely to face any similar threat.
The news that the conflict had spilled over into NATO territory came on the same day that the lower house of Parliament designated Russia a terrorist state, in a resolution that condemns attacks on civilians and key energy infrastructure in Ukraine. MPs also rejected the results of referendums on the Russian annexation of four occupied regions in eastern Ukraine.