NewsNATO urged to bolster air defense after Russian missile breaches Polish airspace

NATO urged to bolster air defense after Russian missile breaches Polish airspace

Gen. Toveri says that Poland and NATO should respond to the Russian missile.
Gen. Toveri says that Poland and NATO should respond to the Russian missile.
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10:22 AM EDT, March 25, 2024
Pekka Toveri, a parliamentarian and former head of Finnish military intelligence, argues that Poland should take action, with NATO's backing, in response to an airspace violation. He notes, "It's unclear whether the Russians did this deliberately, but this event might just be the start of increased harassment from Moscow."
On a Sunday morning, the Operational Command of the Armed Forces reported that a Russian missile trespassed into Polish airspace and stayed there for 39 seconds at an altitude above Oserdow in the Lublin Voivodeship. Defense Minister Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz confirmed the object was "monitored by Polish radar systems" throughout its journey until it re-entered Ukraine.
Lt. Col. Jacek Goryszewski, a spokesman for the Operational Command, told PAP that trying to shoot down the missile would have posed a higher risk to local residents than letting it exit Polish airspace on its own.
The airspace violation has caused a widespread reaction among NATO countries. Talking to Finland's "Iltalehti," Gen. Pekka Toveri highlighted that Poland, backed by the Alliance, needs to take action, especially considering that Russia, which maneuvers its missiles to make wider loops, might be doing this deliberately.
"Russia is attempting to circumvent Ukraine's air defense by navigating through the airspace of a NATO member," Toveri asserts. "This is unacceptable and must be dealt with," he insists.
According to the Finnish expert, Poland and NATO must upgrade their air defense in the targeted areas to quickly detect and neutralize threats to civilian areas. He also suggests the consideration of rules that would facilitate swift decisions to intercept enemy missiles during peacetime.
Toveri anticipates an increase in airspace violations and intimidation tactics from Russia. "The rhetoric from Russian authorities is getting more aggressive. They're now accusing NATO and claiming we're at war," he warns, emphasizing the need for an immediate response to prevent escalating threats from the Kremlin. He also mentions the possibility of Russian missiles infringing on Finnish airspace.
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