What are NATO Articles 4 and 5?

STORY: (U.S. President, Joe Biden) "America's fully prepared with our NATO allies to defend every single inch of NATO


A deadly explosion in NATO member Poland’s territory near its border with Ukraine,

has raised concerns of Russia’s war in Ukraine becoming a wider conflict.

And it didn't take long for talk of Article 5 to surface.

Let's take a look at what NATO's principle of collective defense means.

Article 5 is the cornerstone of the founding treaty of NATO.

It stipulates that “the Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Eu-rope or North America shall be considered an attack against them all."

Which, in short, means that if such an armed attack occurs on one member, each other country can exercise the

right to individual or collective self-defense,

and can take necessary action to assist the country under attack.

This action can include the use of armed force to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

Before that, comes Article 4.

This states that NATO members will consult together whether the territorial integrity, political independence or

security of any member state is threatened.

Invoking Article 5 is not automatic.

Following an attack on a member state, the others come together to determine whether they agree to regard it an

as Article 5 situation.

There is no time limit on how long such consultations can take.

Article 5 has been activated once before.

That was in 2001, on behalf of the United States, in response to the September 11 attacks.

(Former NATO Secretary General, George Robertson)"If it is determined that this attack was directed from abroad against the United States it shall be regarded as an action covered by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty."