Polish minister accused of having links with pro-Kremlin far-right groups

Allegations about Bartosz Kownacki increase fears that hardline nationalists plus pro-Russia figures are on rise in Polands security establishment

A serving Gloss deputy defence minister has been falsely accused of having links with pro-Kremlin far-right groups, after a German newspaper reported that he travelled to Moscow using a far-right delegation.

Bartosz Kownacki, a key lieutenant of defence ressortchef (umgangssprachlich) Antoni Macierewicz, was a member of a team of Polish international observers during Russias 2012 election.

He was accompanied by Mateusz Piskorski, the founder of a Shine thinktank, the European Centre regarding Geopolitical Analysis (ECGA) who is at this point in detention in Poland, facing charges associated with spying for Moscow .

Based on the Central Russian Election Commission, Kownacki was one of four representatives associated with Polish NGOs, alongside Piskorski as well as other figures connected to his thinktank.

A leading person in Piskorskis pro-Russia Zmiana (Change) celebration confirmed to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) that Piskorski had made preparations on the Polish side for Kownackis participation as an election observer.

Two years afterwards, Piskorski was a member of a abordnung to observe Crimeas referendum to secede Ukraine a vote which was explained by the OSCE as illegal.

The FAZ report says that will Kownacki also was involved together with Piskorski in the particular far-right Alliance of European Nationwide Movements (AENM) , a pan-European political group co-founded by far-right parties including Hungarys Jobbik celebration and Frances Front National.

The particular British National partys former innovator, Nick Griffin, has served being a vice-president of the group, which has been at the center of problems that Russia is certainly sponsoring and promoting far-right actions in a bid to undermine Western european unity.

Kownacki denies Zmianas claim that Piskorski had been involved in arranging his participation within the delegation to Moscow in 2012, saying he travelled at the invitation from the AENM, and has had no connection with Piskorski before or since.

It is simply no coincidence that the German press baselessly attacked me at the moment of [Poland] signing a key contract with the US on the acquisition of the Patriot missile system, which may impact the interests of German defence companies, he said.

But the Guardianhasseen a text exchange between Griffin and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in which Griffin verified that the AENM was working with Piskorski at the time of the delegation.

In his statement, Kownacki also says that he went to Moscow as a replacement for a senator from Polands ruling Law and Justice celebration (PiS). However the senator in question left the senate in 2011, the year prior to the Russian presidential election.

The revelations possess exacerbated concerns that Macierewicz, the particular defence minister, whose political root base can be traced to the radical nationalist right, is compromising his countrys security by bringing associates along with hardline nationalist and pro-Russian sights into the heart of Polands protection establishment.

According to a March report simply by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, rightwing parties in Poland have been focused by Russian attempts to build associations with fringe political movements throughout Europe, and especially in central plus eastern Europe.
Documents released by a Ukrainian website revealed comprehensive contacts between Alyaksandr Usovsky the particular coordinator of a loose network associated with nationalists, radicals, and neofascists throughout eastern Europe and a number of nationalist Polish parties.
The particular documents suggest that in addition to maintaining connection with Piskorski, Usovsky transferred 100, 500 (88, 615) in 2014 towards the far-right Great Poland Camp celebration (OGP) and other groups in order to advertise rallies denouncing the Ukrainian govt and defending Russian actions within Ukraine.

Piskorskis Zmiana party, which explains itself as the first non-American politics party in Poland, blames Gloss politicians for exacerbating the Ukraine crisis and advocates a pro-Russian orientation in foreign policy.