Poland’s prime minister Tuesday said France and Germany were running the European Union like a “de-facto oligarchy,” ignoring voices such as Poland that had long warned of Russian expansionism.
“Many European leaders let themselves be seduced by Vladimir Putin. They are now in shock,” Mateusz Morawiecki wrote in an op-ed for French daily Le Monde.
“The return of Russian imperialism should come as no surprise to us,” he said.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Poland has been the forefront of condemnation of Moscow, calling for the harshest possible EU sanctions against Russia and massive weapon supplies to Kyiv.
“Europe finds itself in its present situation not because it is insufficiently integrated, but because it refused to hear the truth,” he said.
“The voice that could be heard from Poland for several years.”
Morawiecki said the EU had failed to heed his country’s warnings about Russia, which pointed to a “larger problem” in the bloc.
“On paper, all member states are equal. But the political reality shows that the weight of the German and French voices is dominant. We are dealing with a formal democracy but a de facto oligarchy where the power is held by those who are the strongest,” he said.
Morawiecki had previously criticized EU members who agreed to import large amounts of Russian gas and are now struggling to build up energy reserves for the coming winter.
In an apparent allusion to Germany, in particular, he told the Euronews channel in May: “They were short-sighted because they couldn’t have imagined what was going to happen with this dependency. And Putin used this as a blackmail vis-a-vis the rest of the European Union.”
Warsaw meanwhile is also at loggerheads with Brussels over post-Covid recovery funds that the European Union blocked because of concerns that recent Polish legislation was eroding rule of law in the country.
Brussels refused to release them because of concerns that a controversial disciplinary mechanism for judges in Poland undermined judicial independence.
Poland announced in May that it had concluded negotiations with Brussels over the blocked funds, saying it expected to receive around 35 billion euros ($35.7 billion) “within months.”