PM explains aims of Russian influences commission

Rafał Guz/PAP

A commission to investigate Russian influences on Polish governments will strive to find out what opposition leader Donald Tusk and Russian leader Vladimir Putin discussed during their unofficial meeting in 2009, Mateusz Morawiecki, Poland's prime minister, has said.

The meeting between Tusk and Putin took place on a pier in the north-Polish seaside resort Sopot on September 1, 2009 during celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II. According to Tusk, who was then Poland's prime minister, the conversation was of a courtesy nature.

"We want to check what Vladimir Putin spoke about with Donald Tusk on the pier in Sopot," Morawiecki said in an interview with the weekly Wprost, published on Thursday, responding to a question whether the commission was an instrument to eliminate Tusk from politics.

Referring to criticism of the commission by Poland's opposition, the US Department of State and the EC, Morawiecki pointed out that similar bodies existed in other EU countries, including France.

He added that in his opinion similar panels ought to be established in all European countries, as "Russian propaganda is omnipotent on our continent."

The commission will have the power to waive an administrative decision it deems was made under Russian influence, and in the case of people making such decisions issue a ban of up to 10 years from holding a public office that involves public funds.

It will also be able to block their security clearance for up to 10 years.