Three EU leaders travel to Ukraine – what could happen if theyre attacked?

Ukraine: Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko says 'everyone is angry'

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On Tuesday, the Prime Ministers of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia all boarded a train heading for Ukraine’s capital. Kyiv was heavily bombed in the early hours of Tuesday morning, and the city’s Mayor, Vitali Klitschko, has since announced a curfew is to be imposed for the next two days.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and Janez Jansa of Slovenia have said they are travelling into Ukraine to represent the European Union (EU).

Mr Morawiecki said: “It is our duty to be where history is forged. Because it’s not about us, but about the future of our children who deserve to live in a world free from tyranny.”

His ministerial office has also confirmed that the trio will present details of a concrete support package for Ukraine.

The visit was arranged during the recent EU summit in Versailles.

Mr Fiala added that the purpose of their visit was “to confirm the unequivocal support of the entire European Union for the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine”.

Although Kyiv has yet to fall under Russian control, it has been bombarded intensely in recent days.

Two powerful explosions rocked the capital before dawn on Tuesday and tracer fire lit up the night sky.

Meanwhile, a high-rise apartment building was in flames after being struck by artillery.

On Tuesday, Mr Klitschko said a curfew would be imposed across the city from 8pm (6pm GMT) until 7am (5am) on Thursday morning, owing to the Russian shelling.

He said: “Today is a difficult and dangerous moment. This is why I ask all Kyivites to get prepared to stay at home for two days, or if the sirens go off, in the shelters.

“It is prohibited to move around the city without special permission, except to go to bomb shelters.

“The capital is the heart of Ukraine, and it will be defended. Kyiv, which is currently the symbol and forward operating base of Europe’s freedom and security, will not be given up by us.”

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What could happen if the three EU leaders are attacked?

Mr Fiala said the trio had informed EU colleagues last week of their plans, and would be travelling as an official European Council delegation.

However, news of the travelling delegation has sparked divide in Brussels, with one EU official informing the BBC that the visit had “no formal mandate” from the council, and that EU representatives had only been notified it was going ahead last night.

All three men come from countries that are members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

If one of them were to be attacked, it could trigger Article 5 of the military alliance’s official charter.

Article 5 stipulates that if a country with membership status is attacked, other allies must come to its aid.

In other words, an attack on one NATO country would be seen as an assault against all 30 member states, potentially bringing the world into a state of war.

The possibility of Article 5 being triggered is what’s stopped NATO from agreeing to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky’s request for a no-fly zone to be put in place against Russian aircraft in Ukraine.

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