Radosław Sikorski: photo - radeksikorski.pl
In exerts released ahead of the Monday edition of the magazine, which last week published tapes of damaging and embarrassing conversations by a central banker and ministers, among others, Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski is reported to have allegedly said in a secretly recorded conversation with former finance minister Jacek Rostowski: “The Polish-American alliance is worthless, even harmful, as it gives Poland a false sense of security. It's bullshit.”
The Polish government is currently pushing for NATO troops to be stationed in Poland as the crisis in Ukraine continues to escalate.
President Obama, during a trip to Warsaw two weeks ago, said he would ask for an extra 1 billion dollars from Congress to be spent on beefing up defences in central and eastern Europe.
Minister Sikorski tweeted following the exerts being revealed, Sunday morning, that “Wprost is lying about a meeting with Jacek Rostowski at Sowa & Przyjaciele [the restaurant where previous recordings had been made]. Never in my life have I been to that restaurant”.
Wprost magazine's Michał Majewski immediately tweeted in reply that the alleged recording had been made, not at 'Sowa and Przyjaciele' but at the 'Amber Room' eatery.
Later in the tapes, recorded sometime in the spring of 2014, the previously avid transatlanticist Radoslaw Sikorski, who is a deputy leader of the ruling centre-right Civic Platform, describes the mentality of Poles in general as suffering from "Murzyńskość” - a derogatory and racially-loaded term to mean thinking 'like a Negro'.
“The problem in Poland is that we have very shallow pride and low self-esteem,” adds Poland's foreign minister, who has been put forward by the government as a candidate for EU foreign policy chief.
As the government tries to limit the damage of the tapes to its reputation, Civic Platform MP Julia Pitera told the TVN24 news station that, “the government's foreign policy is not the personal policy of Radoslaw Sikorski”.
“Foreign policy is being carried out well, so I hope this was just a demonstration of stupidity and not foreign policy,” Pitera said on Sikorski's taped remarks and current Polish – US relations.
Transcripts from the tapes to be released by Wprost will include conversations by a range of ministers, former ministers and business people, it has been reported, in what could be more embarrassing revelations for the Civic Platform-led government.
Prime Minister Donald Tusk said last week that if a “crisis of confidence” in the government increases then early elections could be called, one year before the scheduled ballot in 2015.
As to the mystery of who is it that has secretly and illegally been taping Poland's top politicians' private conversations, the Wprost magazine said on Sunday that the source was “a businessman”, following speculation that former secret service agents were involved.
State prosecutors are currently examining material handed over to them by the editor-in-chief of Wprost on Saturday: illegally taping conversations to gain information is punishable in Poland by up to two years in prison.
PM Tusk, in power since 2007, has said that the leaked conversations are part of an attempt to “bring down the government by illegal means”.
As exerts of tomorrow's edition of Wprost were leaked ahead of publication, Minister Sikorski was engaged in a round of appearances on British media on Sunday morning, explaining Poland's support for Jean-Claude Juncker to lead the European Commission - “rules of democracy are that the largest party [in the European parliament] gets the top job” - and that the EU would not interfere if Britain changed its social security rules: “as long as they are not discriminatory, Europe will not interfere,” Sikorski said on the BBC's Andrew Marr programme. (pg)