Polish pro-EU government led by Prime Minister Donald Tusk won a confidence vote in parliament on Tuesday, marking an end to eight years of rule by right-wing populists.

Tusk pledged to restore Poland's position in the European Union after rule-of-law infringements strained Warsaw ties with Brussels, and said help for war-torn Ukraine would also be a priority in an address to lawmakers.

"The attack on Ukraine is an attack on us all," he said, promising to double down on efforts to provide Kyiv with more aid "from day one".

"I can no longer listen to some European politicians, from other Western countries, who speak of being fatigued by the Ukraine situation," Tusk told the parliament.

A former premier and European Council president, Tusk is expected to be sworn in by the Polish president during a ceremony on Wednesday, allowing him to travel to the bloc's summit meeting later this week.


The vote of confidence in the Polish parliament was delayed on Tuesday amid chaos triggered by a far-right lawmaker who used a fire extinguisher to smother a Hanukkah menorah in the parliament lobby.

Tusk denounced what he called an "unacceptable" act and a "disgrace" by the lawmaker Grzegorz Braun, who has been temporarily barred from proceedings and could face criminal charges.

Earlier on Tuesday Tusk also promised to resolve the dispute involving Polish truckers who have been blocking border crossings at Ukrainian border to campaign for reinstating EU permits for their competitors, which were suspended following Russia's invasion.

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Speaking on Ukraine’s telethon on Sunday, the NATO Secretary General rebuffed any prospect of Poland or other NATO nations shooting down Russian missiles over Ukrainian territory.

Following the speech, Mykhaylo Podolyak, a senior aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said Tusk's read on the situation was "impeccable".

Zelensky tweeted his "congratulations" Monday after Tusk was tapped as premier.

- 'Stronger Europe' -

Speaking to the lower house of parliament, which is now controlled by Tusk's multi-party pro-EU alliance, Tusk also reiterated Poland's support for the European Union and NATO alliance.


"We are all the stronger, all the more sovereign when not only Poland is stronger but also the European Union," Tusk told lawmakers.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had congratulated him on Monday, saying on social media that "Your experience and strong commitment to our European values will be precious in forging a stronger Europe".

Tusk, who served as prime minister from 2007 to 2014 and chaired the European Council from 2014 to 2019, has promised to unblock billions of euros in EU funds that have been frozen because of long-standing tensions between Brussels and the previous government.

Tusk also presented his roster of ministers, with Poland's former top diplomat Radoslaw Sikorski making a comeback to lead the foreign ministry again.

The new government also includes former Polish ombudsman Adam Bodnar, a vocal critic of the previous administration's judiciary overhaul, whom Tusk chose as his justice minister.

The right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party won the most seats in October's general election but failed to find viable coalition partners and secure backing for their minority government on Monday.

- 'Right all of the wrongs' -

While Tusk's Civic Coalition came second in the ballot, it forged an alliance with two smaller pro-EU opposition political groups, the Third Way and Left, with enough votes to oust PiS from power.


Describing the right-wing administration as years of "darkness", Tusk had said Monday that his government would work to "right all of the wrongs".

PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski fired back by accusing Tusk of being a "German agent".

Lech Walesa, the Nobel Prize winner who led Poland's Solidarity trade union movement -- and a well-known PiS critic -- said Poland was "back on the path of development".

But the new government will face daily battles with PiS lawmakers who "will continue to fight", political analyst Jaroslaw Kuisz told AFP, adding that "there won't be any miracles".

Controversial judicial reforms and appointments, which the EU say undermined democratic values, were at the heart of tensions between PiS ministers and Brussels.

PiS still has a firm ally in Polish President Andrzej Duda, whose term ends in 2025, and he could use blocking tactics between now and then to veto legislation.

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