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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Polish MEP calls on EU to combat pro-Russian 'political corruption': report

03.12.2021 21:30
A Polish member of the European Parliament has urged the European Commission not to allow former top politicians to work for Russian energy companies, a news website has reported.
Witold Waszczykowski, an MEP with Polands ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party.
Witold Waszczykowski, an MEP with Poland's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party. PAP/EPA Olivier Hoslet

Witold Waszczykowski has issued a written parliamentary question asking if there is a conflict of interest when senior European politicians join state-run Russian energy firms upon leaving office, the energetyka24.com website reported. 

The MEP, who represents Poland’s ruling conservatives Law and Justice and is a former foreign minister, also called on the European Commission to prevent such practices, which he termed “political corruption,” according to energetyka24.com.

Jobs for ex-politicians

Waszczykowski cited the examples of German ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, former Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel, French ex-Prime Minister François Fillon, former Finnish Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen, and former Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl, saying all of them began working for Russian companies, including Nord Stream AG, after retiring from politics. 

Germany's Schröder, for instance, "pursued a docile policy" towards Vladimir Putin’s Russia and subsequently landed a highly-paid position with Gazprom, his example emboldening others, Waszczykowski wrote, according to energetyka24.com.

He added that all these politicians had made “financially and geopolitically harmful” decisions, approving the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, for example, the website reported.

It said Waszczykowski also wrote that Moscow’s centrally-run energy companies had always “acted with hostility towards Russia's neighbours,” as evidenced by gas crises in Ukraine and most recently, Moldova. 

Waszczykowski called on Brussels to prevent such “political corruption,” adding that those former European politicians who join, or refuse to leave, Russian energy companies in the future should be condemned and "removed from international public life," according to energetyka24.com.

He advised the European Commission to "monitor" the political retirement of the outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel, “whose government consistently supported the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, despite Russia’s military aggression in Georgia and Ukraine,” the Polish website reported.   

(pm/gs)

Source: energetyka24.com