Chasing Donald Tusk

DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this column reflect the views of the author(s), not of EURACTIV Media network.

European Council President Donald Tusk shared his concerns about the election result. [European Council]

Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) would like to destroy Donald Tusk, the personal enemy of its leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, according to Roman Imielski.

Roman Imielski is the news editor of Gazeta Wyborcza.

To achieve that goal, the PiS have employed the state. Today, the president of the European Council will be questioned by a prosecutor.

The case concerns the former heads of the Military Counter-intelligence Service when Tusk was prime minister. The defendants are alleged to have exceeded their powers while negotiating with the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) an agreement regulating a number of issues, including cooperation in the transfer of Polish army equipment from Afghanistan. According to the prosecutor, who is directly subordinate to Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro, Poland’s counter-intelligence chiefs failed to obtain consent for working with the Russians from the then head of government, Donald Tusk.

It turns out, however, that the defendants did obtain such consent. Besides, the agreement never came into force, as Warsaw no longer trusted its Russian partner in the wake of the revolution that broke out in Ukraine, which was followed by Russian aggression. The investigation, therefore, is obviously falling apart, but neither PiS politicians nor the party’s propaganda media (including government controlled Polish state television) seem to bother, and the theory being served is that Tusk sold himself to Moscow. The idea behind calling the head of the European Council to the witness stand is to give the impression that Tusk has something on his conscience, that he has strange connections with the FSB. The word “betrayal” is there in the background.

It is not the first time that the PiS government has levelled an absurd charge against Tusk. When the EU leadership decided to extend his term as head of the European Council, the Polish government was the only one to vote against Tusk, which stunned even its regional partners from the Czech Republic and Hungary. That’s not the end of this story, however, as Tusk may soon be a suspect in yet another case.

Minister of Defense Antoni Macierewicz gave the official notice of Tusk’s “diplomatic betrayal”, accusing Poland’s former prime minister of “acting to the detriment of the state and compromising the interests of citizens, including the families of the victims of the Smolensk catastrophe”. Macierewicz contends that while heading the government, Tusk refused to explain the April 2010 crash of the plane with President Lech Kaczyński (twin brother of Jaroslaw Kaczynski) along with the most important commanders of the Polish army and many high ranking civil servants aboard (there were 96 casualties altogether).

Unfounded as it is, the accusation is by no means surprising. Already in 2010, Macierewicz, in the opposition at the time, despite evidence to the contrary, began to promote the theory that the Smolensk plane crash was actually an attack on the Polish president. Later on, as a member of the PiS government, he set up a commission of inquiry to find evidence of the alleged bomb explosion on the aircraft. PiS politicians have repeatedly said that both Tusk and Vladimir Putin have blood on their hands.

For years, the attack against Donald Tusk has been masterminded by Jarosław Kaczyński, who is now ruling Poland from the back seat. His political companions are more than willing to assist him, as they know that dishing out the dirt on Donald Tusk must accelerate before Tusk returns to Poland as a presidential candidate in the 2020 election.


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