Some 30,000 lobby groups at EU HQ related to Moscow: Kaczyński

Polish ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party’s leader Jarosław Kaczyński said that Moscow pulls the strings in EU lobbying with around 30,000 lobby groups.

"When we assess this influence by looking at Brussels as the EU's somewhat autonomous political centre - it is also very visible. A huge part of the 30,000 various lobby groups operating today at the European Union's headquarters have a clear Russian origin or are connected with the Russians," Mr Kaczyński told Poland’s private Gazeta Polska weekly on Monday.

"This influence will seem even stronger when we assess its range and efficiency from the perspective of policies pursued by individual countries," said the PiS leader, quoting the example of the Russia-Germany gas pipelines Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 and what he saw as France's favourable policy towards Russia.

Kaczyński also expressed a belief that there are political parties in EU member states which are connected to Moscow and receive support from the Kremlin. In this context, he mentioned France's National Rally led by Marie Le Pen.

"Therefore the key question is to what extent the policies of such parties would be corrected by the Kremlin if they became a meaningful force in the European Union?," Mr Kaczyński said.

Fragments of the interview, whose complete version will be published by the weekly on Wednesday, were revealed by the news website on Monday.