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Demonstration at the Ministry of National Defence

On 31st October, we protested against the supply by France of Mistral assault ships to Russia. The manifestation was held at the Polish Ministry of Defence (MON) on Klonowa Street in Warsaw. Why there? France is also competing in a PLN 14 billion tender procedure for the construction of an anti-missile system for the Polish army. We therefore called upon the Minister of National Defence, Tomasz Siemoniak, to exclude the French consortium Eurosam from the tender for the Polish anti-missile shield until France chances its decision regarding the supply of ships to Russia.

photo: Leszek Imielski

We agreed with the MON that our appeal would be dealt with by the Director of the Bureau for Anti-corruption Procedures – Marcin Szaładziński. Director Szaładziński joined us at the beginning and listened first to the speech by Natalia Panchenko and Tomasz Czuwara – ODF spokesman, and then to the appeal which was read aloud. Thereafter, our spokesman went to a meeting at the Ministry where he received a friendly welcome. The MON does appreciate our work and is closely monitoring the policies of the states with which it does business. Most importantly, we were informed that military tender procedures are not governed by the Act on Public Procurement and hence, the MON has far-reaching opportunities to influence the partners and to select the tenders which it makes use of (price is not the decisive criterion).

Director Szaładziński promised that the letter would reach Minister Tomasz Siemoniak, but obviously could not give his word that desirable decisions would follow. We underlined the fact that we were relying on the MON to adopt a firm position, that we are monitoring other armament contracts in which the French are involved (such as new type submarines) and that we did not intend to cease in our appeal – our activities would continue.