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US to defend NATO allies if attacked, Pentagon says after Russian missile enters Polish airspace

by Kateryna Denisova and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 26, 2024 11:58 PM 2 min read
U.S. Defense Department Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh speaks at the Pentagon on Aug. 15, 2023. (Celal Gunes/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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The U.S. is ready to fulfill NATO commitments and defend its allies in the case of an attack, Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh said at a press briefing on March 26.

Her comments came after Andrzej Szejna, Poland's deputy foreign minister, said that NATO was reportedly considering the option of shooting down Russian missiles if they stray too close to its borders. Such a proposal would have to be approved by the Ukrainian side, he said.

"What the administration says repeatedly is that we will defend every inch of NATO. Should the NATO ally be attacked — we certainly don't want to see that — but we will defend every inch of NATO," Singh said when asked about the Polish official's statement.

A Russian missile entered the Polish airspace during a large-scale attack against Ukraine on March 24. In another incident on Nov. 15, 2022, a missile flew onto Polish territory during a Russian mass strike, killing two civilians. Polish investigators later concluded that it was a stray Ukrainian anti-air projectile launched to intercept the Russian attack.

Washington's current priority is to make sure that "Ukraine has what it needs on the battlefield," according to the Pentagon's spokesperson.  

Kyiv faces an ongoing ammunition shortage, with the country being in dire need of shells and missiles, as U.S. aid to Kyiv worth roughly $60 billion remains stalled due to divisions in Congress. On March 12, the U.S. unveiled a defense aid package of weapons and equipment for Ukraine worth $300 million, the first since December.

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