NATO Could Soon Start Shooting Down Russian Missiles Headed for Border

Poland has urged NATO to set up a missile defence zone in Ukraine to shoot down Russian missiles before they reach NATO airspace. A deliberate Russian missile violation is considered as a test of defenses.

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Joseph P Chacko
Joseph P Chacko
Joseph P. Chacko is the publisher of Frontier India. He holds an M.B.A in International Business. Books: Author: Foxtrot to Arihant: The Story of Indian Navy's Submarine Arm; Co Author : Warring Navies - India and Pakistan. *views are Personal

Poland’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Andrzej Sheyna, said that talks are ongoing to stop Russian rockets as they approach the NATO borders.

He told Radio RMF24 that NATO is looking into the possibility of shooting down missiles traveling into North Atlantic Alliance territories.

“In the Alliance, various concepts are being analyzed, including shooting down such missiles when they are very close to NATO borders. But this should happen with the consent of the Ukrainian side and taking into account international consequences – then NATO missiles would hit Russian missiles outside their territory,” Sheyna noted.

The Deputy Head of the Polish Foreign Ministry also addressed a recent incident in which a Russian missile violated Polish airspace while maneuvering to strike Ukrainian targets.

The missile was traveling about 800 kilometers per hour at a height of 400 meters. It entered Polish airspace for roughly 2 kilometers before leaving the territory.

Andrzej Sheyna emphasized that the Russian missile’s flight was intentional and aimed at specified targets.

“It was rather a deliberate act; Russia did not want to provoke anything. They knew that if the missile penetrated further into Poland, it would be shot down. There would be a response. The plan was to test the strength of defense and the vigilance of Polish armed forces,” said the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland.

He emphasized that Russia should not impose its rules on the Alliance countries.

“It must get used to the fact that the NATO side, the side of democratic states, the EU will start setting a certain tone when it comes to resolving the conflict in Ukraine,” Sheyna noted.

Missile Violation May Reoccur

On March 24, the Polish Armed Forces Operational Command posted on the X platform that “at 4:23 a.m., there was a violation of Polish airspace by one of the maneuvering missiles launched last night by the long-range aviation of the Russian Federation.” The item entered Polish airspace at the airspace of Oserdów (Lublin Voivodeship) and remained there for 39 seconds. “The targets of the strikes were towns located in western Ukraine,” it was reported.

“In the morning hours, there was a violation of Polish airspace by a Russian missile. Such incidents may recur because Poland is a front-line country, and they may be intentionally provoked,” reported General Stanisław Koziej.

Prof. Dr. Stanisław Koziej, a retired brigadier general who served as the chief of the National Security Bureau (BBN) from 2010 to 2015, believes such acts constitute a serious threat to Poland. 

In an interview with the Polish News Agency PAP, he emphasized, “You never know what such a missile might do. Moreover, often these are so-called dual-purpose missiles, which can carry a nuclear payload.”

He said increased attention and monitoring of all missiles heading towards Polish territory are required.

At the same time, he pointed out that the enemy could have purposefully set up such scenarios to put the Polish air defense system, response time, used means, frequencies, directives, and signals to the test. 

“Furthermore, the Russians may want to use the border airspace, while also breaching the Polish border, to launch maneuvering missile attacks on Ukrainian targets from the west, where the air defense is likely weaker,” he assessed.

General Koziej states the situation necessitates a “very decisive response.” “In my opinion, the only remedy to protect Polish airspace and territory from such incidents is for the North Atlantic Alliance to establish a missile defense zone advanced beyond the Polish border, over Ukrainian territory,” he stated. 

He feels that the decision on how far into Ukraine such a zone should stretch should be left to experts. 

“We, as NATO, should declare to Russia that if such an incident happens again, we will activate such a missile defense system to shoot down all missiles flying towards our border before they cross it,” said Gen. Koziej.

He also stated that the Polish government should propose and encourage NATO countries to adopt such a solution.

He said, “This is the only way to secure NATO territory from accidental or deliberate actions by Russia.”

He stressed that such incidents are likely to recur. “In order to defeat Ukraine, Russia must destroy strategic objects not only on the front lines but also deep within. The Lviv region, bordering Poland, is a strategic area of interest for Russia. I believe that Russian operations in this area are also consciously and deliberately used for provocative, diversionary, and reconnaissance actions,” he pointed out.

He indicated missiles operating near the Polish border, including those launched from Belarusian territory, can collect data on its defense system, which works in tandem with the Ukrainian system.

This is not the first instance of Russian cruise missiles entering Polish territory. Earlier, on December 29, a Russian cruise missile traveled around 40 km into Polish airspace before turning back. Polish military stated they were prepared to shoot it down but did not.

Also, in April 2023, in a forest near the Polish city of Bydgoszcz, a passerby discovered the remains of an unidentifiable object, which turned out to be an X-55 cruise missile.


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