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    Poland Takes Action: President Signs Law to Investigate Russian Influence

    President Andrzej Duda of Poland has signed a significant new law aimed at investigating alleged Russian influence on Polish governments. The amended act establishes a state commission tasked with examining Russian interference in Poland’s internal security between 2007 and 2022. The law officially came into force on May 31.

    The primary goal of this commission is to scrutinize politicians’ activities and determine if they have been operating under Russian influence. If any public officials are found to have such connections, they may be barred from holding public office. However, this move has faced heavy criticism from various quarters, including the US, the EU, and Poland’s opposition parties. Many view it as a strategic tool to prevent Donald Tusk, the opposition leader, from participating in the upcoming autumn parliamentary elections.

    In response to both domestic and international backlash, President Duda proposed crucial amendments to the founding act governing the commission. These amendments, put forward on June 2, advocate for excluding lawmakers from the commission and removing its power to ban individuals from public service—a contentious aspect of the original law.

    Instead, Duda’s amendments now stipulate that the commission will assess whether a person’s actions were influenced by Russia and whether such influence has compromised the proper performance of their public duties.

    On July 28, the Polish Sejm (lower house) approved the presidential bill with a narrow majority of 235-214 votes, despite opposition from the Senate, with four abstentions.

    The new law signifies Poland’s efforts to address concerns over potential Russian interference and safeguard its internal security. However, its implementation and impact remain subjects of ongoing debate and scrutiny both domestically and internationally.

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