US Declines to Invoke NATO's Article 5 in Response to Belarusian Helicopter Border Incident

US Declines to Invoke NATO's Article 5 in Response to Belarusian Helicopter Border Incident

In light of recent developments where Belarusian helicopters were reported to have breached Polish airspace, the United States has underscored its commitment to NATO security, though it stated that invoking NATO's Article 5 is not currently a subject of discussion, according to Matthew Miller, the spokesperson for the US Department of State.

The United States has expressed its expectation for all countries to respect sovereign airspace and maintains a serious approach to the security of NATO. Miller emphasized that any decision to invoke Article 5, which states that an attack against one ally is an attack against all NATO members, would follow a specific process, which the situation has not reached.

In response to inquiries about whether there had been any contact or discussion with Polish officials regarding this incident, Miller clarified that the US maintains constant communication with all NATO members.

The incident that sparked these discussions occurred on Tuesday, when the Polish Ministry of National Defence confirmed a violation of its airspace by two Belarusian helicopters. Initially, the Polish authorities denied the violation, but later clarified that the intrusion occurred near the city of Białowieża at an altitude low enough to evade radar detection.

In response, Mariusz Błaszczak, the Polish Minister of National Defence, ordered an increase in troops at the border and the deployment of additional forces and equipment, including attack helicopters. Moreover, the Charge D'Affaires of Belarus was summoned to the Polish Foreign Ministry to provide an explanation for the incident, where the Polish side lodged a strong protest.