The leader of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party has rejected claims of joining an alliance with French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen to take apart the European Union.
Jaroslaw Kaczynski said Monday that PiS was not seeking a breakup of the EU as proposed by Le Pen and called any notion of a so-called Polexit "absurd."
"We have about as much as common with Mrs Le Pen as we have with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin," said the right-wing leader while addressing reporters in Warsaw.
The comments came after reports emerged that Le Pen had asked right-wing leaders in Poland and Hungary to forge an alliance to "take apart the European Union."
On Monday, Poland’s Rzeczpospolita newspaper said Le Pen had personally invited right-wing leaders in the eastern European country to contribute to an anti-EU alliance.
The leader of France’s National Front had raised the issue during a meeting with European media outlets last week in Paris.
She had said that there was determination in the right and far-right in Europe, especially in France, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands and even in the United Kingdom, to reclaim sovereignty from the EU, noting these countries had “great ideas” in common.
Kaczynski, however, denied any suggestion that Poland was planning an exit from the EU like Britain, insisting that his country would remain firmly rooted in the EU.
"EU must be wholly preserved ... but with deep changes that will strengthen the position of nation states,” he said.
Le Pen’s friendly gestures toward Poland’s right-wing groups come amid a standoff between Warsaw and Brussels over the re-election of former Polish premier Donald Tusk as the EU president.
Poland blocked the final statement of the EU summit on Friday to protest Tusk’s re-election. The ruling PiS party accuses Tusk of interfering in Poland’s domestic affairs, saying he has violated the rule of "political neutrality."
Le Pen said last week that Warsaw was quite right in accusing the EU of political meddling.
Poland has faced mass protests and threats of sanctions by the EU over a series of measures PiS has adopted since winning power in 2015. The party says Tusk, a centrist, has backed Poland’s opposition over the past years.