EU Council President Donald Tusk today condemned his native Poland for wanting to "harshly reject European solidarity" by refusing to welcome refugees, warning Warsaw that there would be consequences.
Poland is among the Eastern European countries to have opposed a European Union plan adopted in 2015 to take in 160,000 Syrian, Eritrean and Iraq asylum seekers from overstretched Greece and Italy.
Yesterday, the EU set a June deadline for Poland and Hungary to start admitting their share of migrants or risk sanctions.
"With the help of Europe do we want to resolve the immigration problems, namely defend borders but also help the states who are welcoming too many refugees? Or instead do we harshly reject European solidarity and not welcome them, as the (Polish) government proposes today?" Tusk asked reporters in Strasbourg.
The former liberal Polish premier said he was "able to understand" some of Warsaw's arguments but warned that its stance "would inevitably have certain consequences. Those are Europe's principles."
Tusk has strained relations with governing conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party in Poland, which was the only member state to oppose his reelection as EU president in March.
PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski has also accused him of "moral responsibility" for the death of his twin brother, the late president Lech Kaczynski, in a 2010 air crash in Russia that also killed 95 others. Tusk was prime minister at the time.
Polish and Russian investigators had found that pilot error, bad weather and poor air-traffic control were to blame for the crash in Smolensk, Russia.
But the PiS launched a fresh probe and a commission of enquiry suggested last month that an explosion likely caused the aircraft to break up in mid-air.