Polish President signs ‘Tusk Act’ over undue Russian influence

WARSAW, May 29 (Reuters) – Poland’s president said on Monday he would sign a bill allowing a committee to investigate whether the opposition Civic Platform (PO) party has allowed the country to become unduly dependent on Russia. fuel while in power.

The liberal PO, in government from 2007 to 2015, rejects the claims and says it is designed to destroy support for its leader and former prime minister, Donald Tusk, ahead of elections scheduled for October or November.

President Andrej Duta said he was signing the bill because he believed it would “go into effect,” but he also said he would ask the Constitutional Tribunal to examine criticism that it was unconstitutional.

The bill would set up a commission of inquiry that could issue an initial report in September. Opposition figures have nicknamed it Lex Tusk, using the Latin word for law.

“In a normal democratic country, someone who is the president of that country would not sign such a Stalin-esque law,” PO lawmaker Marcin Gierwinski told private broadcaster TVN 24.

The parliamentary commission will investigate the period 2007-2022 and will have the power to ban those who acted under Russian influence from receiving security clearances or serving in roles where they are responsible for public funds for 10 years. Office.

Even before Russia’s war on Ukraine began in February last year, Poland’s dependence on Russian fuel has steadily declined.

Construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal to allow non-Russian gas imports began during Tusk’s tenure.

During Tusk’s tenure, Poland signed an agreement with Russia’s Gazprom in 2010, the bill’s official justification notes.

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Top state-controlled refiner PKN Orlen ( PKN.WA ) said last month it would use Russian fuel at its Czech refineries after terminating its contract with Russia’s Tatneft in February.

Reporting by Alan Charlish, Anna Wlodarczak-Czemchuk, Anna Gober and Marek Strelecki; Editing by Robert Birzel and Barbara Lewis

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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