Poland mulling triggering Nato Art. 4

According to unofficial information obtained by PAP, a meeting of Polish officials is planned for Tuesday at which the possibility of triggering Nato's Article 4 will likely be discussed.

The meeting is to be attended by the president, Andrzej Duda, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and the defence and interior ministers as well as officials of the foreign ministry, armed forces, police, Border Guard and other services.

Nato's Article 4 provides for joint consultations should a member state consider its territorial integrity, political independence or security to be under threat.

Poland, Lithuania and Latvia have been tackling an escalating migration crisis at their borders with Belarus in recent months, accusing Minsk's Alexander Lukashenko regime of engineering the crisis to destabilise the EU in retaliation for sanctions imposed by Brussels.

"The triggering of Article 4 of the North Atlantic Treaty and consideration of the matter are closely related to the situation on the border," a source close to the Polish President's Office told PAP. "I assume there will be discussion of that."

On Sunday, Morawiecki told PAP in an interview that the prime ministers of Lithuania and Latvia were considering activating Nato's Article 4.

On Monday, Lithuania's president declared, after a meeting with his Latvian and Estonian counterparts, that the Baltic states stand ready to support Poland if it decides to activate Article 4.

"If the situation (of illegal migration at the borders with Belarus - PAP) will become further complicated, it may at any time be necessary to trigger consultations on the matter of Nato's Article 4," Gitanas Nauseda, the Lithuanian president, told a Monday press conference, highlighting that any Nato member state can do so at a time of threat.

Full support for Poland was also voiced by the presidents of Latvia and Estonia, Egils Levits and Alar Karis, with Levits saying Latvia would support Poland if it asks for help and Karis declaring readiness "to provide any aid and support" to Poland and Lithuania.