Poland's deputy foreign minister on Tuesday said that NATO was considering the possibility of shooting down Russian missiles that stray too close to the alliance's borders, two days after Poland reported a breach of its airspace.

Warsaw on Sunday said that a Russian cruise missile fired overnight at towns in western Ukraine had crossed Polish airspace for 39 seconds, passing about two kilometres over the border.

The Polish defence minister has said Poland activated all air defence systems and the missile would have been shot down had there been any indication it was heading for a target on Polish territory.

On Tuesday, Poland's deputy foreign minister Andrzej Szejna told local radio station RMF24 "various concepts are being analysed within NATO" in response to such incidents, "including for such missiles to be shot down when they are very close to the NATO border".


"But this would have to happen with the consent of the Ukrainian side and taking into account the international consequences," Szejna added.

Poland's foreign ministry on Monday said Russia's ambassador in Warsaw failed to show up for a diplomatic summons issued in relation to the incident.

Poland later said that Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski had spoken to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg about the missile incursion.

During the call, Stoltenberg "recalled that NATO has significantly increased its vigilance and enhanced its posture on the Alliance's eastern flank, including in Poland," a NATO official said on Tuesday.

British Defence Intelligence Update Ukraine 15 July 2024
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British Defence Intelligence Update Ukraine 15 July 2024

Latest from the British Defence Intelligence.

A similar incident occurred in late December, when a Russian missile penetrated Polish airspace for several minutes before returning to Ukraine.

In November 2022, two people were killed when a Ukrainian air-defence missile fell on the Polish village of Przewodow, close to the Ukrainian border.

Before the missile was identified as Ukrainian, fears were raised that NATO -- of which Poland is a member -- would be dragged into an escalation of the conflict with Russia if its collective defence provisions were triggered.

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