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Poland accuses Donald Tusk of ‘illegal agreement’ with Vladimir Putin over air disaster


Poland last night intensified its attack against Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, accusing him of committing a “crime” when dealing with Russian during his time as the country’s prime minister, The Telegraph reports.

The decision to file a criminal complaint against Mr Tusk represents the latest escalation in a bitter political feud between Poland’s current ruling Law and Justice party and the former prime minister who now holds one of the top three offices in Brussels.

Antoni Macierewicz, the Polish defence minister said Mr Tusk should answer for signing what he described as an “illegal agreement with Vladimir Putin” during his seven years in office between 2007-2014.

“This is not about negligence, but a crime,” said Mr Macierewicz in an interview for Gazeta Polska Codzienne, a Polish newspaper.

“Prime Minister Donald Tusk signed an illegal agreement with Vladimir Putin and must answer for it.”

The Polish defence ministry confirmed a complaint had been filed relating to what it called an “abuse of trust in foreign relations”, but did not provide further details.

The on-going domestic spat between Mr Tusk and the leader of Law and Justice, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, has took on an international dimension earlier this month after Poland moved to block the re-election of Mr Tusk at a European Council summit last month.

The move left Poland isolated after the other 27 member states, including Britain, backed Mr Tusk’s re-appointment but the episode also exposed raw east-west divisions over the immigration and the future direction of Europe.

Since then Poland has hinted it will take a tougher stance towards Europe, refusing to formally sign off of the March European Council summit conclusions, creating an uneasy diplomatic backdrop to this weekend’s EU ‘unity’ summit in Rome to mark the 60th anniversary of the EU’s founding treaty.

Mr Kaczynski has made it clear he holds Mr Tusk in some way responsible for the death of his twin brother, Lech, who was Polish president when he died along with 95 others in a plane crash at Smolensk in western Russia in 2010.

Mr Tusk was prime minister at the time and Mr Kaczynski, who believes his brother died in an assassination, has stated he would like to see Mr Tusk stand trial.

Although Mr Macierewicz failed to specify which agreement he was referring to it is thought to be one of two arrangements related to the disaster.

The agreements, struck by Mr Tusk’s then Polish government, cover co-operation between Polish and Russian intelligence agencies, and a tender for the maintenance of the airliner that crashed at Smolensk, which, Mr Macierewicz claimed, involved a “friend of Putin”.

“No position, whether it be in Poland or the EU, should exempt Mr Tusk from responsibility for the crimes he is suspected of committing,” he added.

Both Polish and Russian investigations into the Smolensk disaster found no evidence of foul play.

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