Russian influences panel will impair relations with EU, Moody's warns

Andrew Gombert/PAP/EPA

A planned commission to investigate Russian influences on Polish governments threatens to further impair Poland's relations with the EU and block Warsaw's access to EU funding, the Moody's rating agency wrote on Thursday.

Poland goes to the polls this autumn, and opponents of the government argue that the commission, which will be set up aunder a newly-passed law, could target leading opposition figures such as Donald Tusk, a former prime minister and now leader of Civic Platform (PO), the largest opposition party, ahead of this autumn's general election.

Similar concerns have been voiced by the US Department of State and the European Commission (EC).

In its report, Moody's wrote that the commission project could further deepen Poland's rule-of-law conflict with the EU, which may result in Poland losing a large part of its EU funding.

Referring to Poland's exclusion from a multi-billion EU post-pandemic fund on rule-of-law grounds, Moody's wrote it was doubtful whether the conflict could be resolved before the elections in Poland.

The commission will have the power to waive an administrative decision it deems was made under Russian influence, and in the case of people who made 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.