Ruling party files inquiry commission bill to probe Russian links

"We're submitting a bill concerning a state commission for investigating Russian influence on Poland's internal security in 2007-2022," PiS MP Kazimierz Smolinski said on Thursday. Tomasz Gzell/PAP

Poland's ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) has submitted a bill for setting up a commission that would look into the country's energy policy in 2007-2022 and potential Russian influences.

"We're submitting a bill concerning a state commission for investigating Russian influence on Poland's internal security in 2007-2022," PiS MP Kazimierz Smolinski said on Thursday.

The time span covers the entire two terms of the previous government, which was led by the centrist Civic Platform (PO) party, the main rival of the conservative PiS, and both terms of the current PiS government.

According to Smolinski, the commission will have nine members appointed by the lower house of parliament, both MPs and people from outside parliament, and the commission head will be appointed by the prime minister.

In its original call for the commission in October, PO wanted to look into potential Russian involvement in Polish energy policy between 2013 and 2022 after media reported there could have been Russian links in a high-profile wiretapping scandal. The publication of the conversations shook the PO-led government. One year later, the party lost power in the 2015 general election to PiS.

Announcing plans to submit the bill on Monday, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of PiS, said that "the issue has become a subject of controversy and it would be useful to explain all the matters connected with it."

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who attended the Monday press conference with Kaczynski, said "some people" were trying to "hide their past activities and repaint their image."

"Poles want to know the truth and that's why this commission that will verify Russian influence on Polish internal security is needed, not only to clear up the past, but also to get rid of Russia's residual influence once and for all," the prime minister added.