Opposition leader shocked by PM's plans to attend 'anti-Ukrainian' meeting
Donald Tusk, the leader of Poland’s main opposition party, has demanded that Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister, deny reports he plans to take part in a meeting of "an anti-Ukrainian and pro-Putin international" in Madrid.
Tusk, a former president of the European Council and Polish prime minister, made the statement in connection with European media reports that Morawiecki will attend a meeting in Madrid of populist right-wing politicians on January 28-29.
The gathering in the Spanish capital is organised by the leader of Spain's far-right Vox party, Santiago Abascal.
According to Spanish daily El Independiente, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban will also travel to Madrid for the meeting.
In the past, some populist right-wing leaders have expressed support for Vladimir Putin, or enjoy a good relationship with the Russian leader.
"I am calling on Prime Minister Morawiecki to deny that he will meet with politicians whose anti-Ukrainian and pro-Putin attitude is obvious and has been known for months," Tusk told reporters on Thursday.
"And if this is true... I demand that he immediately decide not to take part," he added.
Tusk said that this was happening at "a very dramatic moment in Europe's history."
"In fact, Russia's imminent invasion of Ukraine is a game for the future of Europe, and, above all, for the future of our region and Poland," Tusk said, adding that its outcome could provide an answer to the question of where the border of the political West lies, and whether Poland would find itself in the West or on the Russian side.
Tusk warned that, if Ukraine fell victim to an invasion, the situation in the region would change "dramatically."
He also said that Poland should play a positive role in the building of the West's solidarity during the Ukrainian crisis. "But we have been witnessing something completely different," he concluded.
According to El Independiente, Vox is hoping to confirm that other populist right-wing leaders, including France’s Marine Le Pen and Giorgio Meloni, leader of Italy’s Fratelli d'Italia (Brothers of Italy), will attend in person or via video.