WA Rep. Smith: Missiles in Poland unlikely to lead to NATO involvement

Nov 15, 2022, 5:49 PM


Ukrainian emergency personnel work as Russia showered the country with missiles. (Photo by Getty Images)

(Photo by Getty Images)

WA Representative Adam Smith (D) told KIRO Newsradio’s Heather Bosch we should pump the brakes when it comes to Russian missiles striking Poland.

The House Armed Services Committee Chair said it was bound to happen and shouldn’t be a significant concern to the US and its allies.

“This was definitely a foreseeable event,” Smith said. “It’s not a big surprise. There was an incident early in the war when a Russian drone crashed all the way into Croatia. The Russians are firing a lot of missiles, sending up a lot of drones, and many of them are not functioning exactly as how they were intended.”

U.S. Intelligence Official says Russian missile landed in Poland

CBS News and the Associated Press are reporting a senior U.S. intelligence official said Russian missiles crossed into NATO member Poland, killing two people.

Adam said he doesn’t believe the incident was a game-changer concerning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “I don’t believe that an errant missile striking Poland would constitute an Article Five violation and require NATO to then get engaged in the conflict directly,” Smith said. “I don’t think that will be the outcome.”

Polish government spokesman Piotr Mueller said top leaders were holding an emergency meeting due to what’s being called a “crisis situation.”

Biden asks for over $37 billion in emergency Ukraine aid

“Now, we’re still learning a lot more about what happened. But as I understand it, it wasn’t very far into Poland. Russia launched missiles throughout Ukraine,” Adam said. “I think the logical conclusion at this point is that this was a missile that did miss its target. But that is being investigated.

“From the beginning of the war, there has been a large coalition, NATO and a number of other countries that have been steadfast and helping Ukraine defend itself, while at the same time, as President Biden has said repeatedly, we are not going to go to war with Russia, and NATO is not going to go to war with Russia,” Smith explained.

“So I think the consequences of a direct conflict between NATO and Russia are so severe and so significant, that I don’t think there’s going to be a lot of pressure for us to lead that effort.”

This would mark the first time Russian weapons have hit a NATO country

Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said he had very little information right now. If confirmed, the strike would mark the first time in the war that Russian weapons have come down on a NATO country.

“We are aware of the press reports alleging that two Russian missiles have struck a location inside Poland near the Ukraine border,” Ryder told reporters at the Defense Department Tuesday. “I can tell you that we don’t have any information at this time to corroborate those reports and are looking into it further.”

Polish media reported that two people died Tuesday afternoon after a projectile struck an area where grain was drying in Przewodów, a Polish village near the border with Ukraine.

The war will also be a ‘difficult situation’

“President Biden and the coalition have done a pretty good job of containing this so that it doesn’t spread out of control,” Smith said. “It is always going to be a tense and difficult situation.”

Smith said that with U.S. assistance, Ukraine has been able to hold its own with Russian forces, but lives are being lost every day.

“Russia could stop that suffering tomorrow. They could just stop prosecuting the war on Ukraine, and the suffering would stop,” Smith said. “Meanwhile, as has been widely reported, in addition to helping Ukraine, the U.S. is re-engaging with Russia after they stopped talking to us for a while. We have had conversations with them about what a peace agreement will look like. And we will continue to do that. And I think that’s the responsible thing to do.”

KIRO Newsradio’s Heather Bosch contributed to this story.

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WA Rep. Smith: Missiles in Poland unlikely to lead to NATO involvement