Poland's foreign minister has accused the European Union's leaders of taking steps which go beyond the union's rules and says this is not the union that Poland wanted to join.

Witold Waszczykowski was speaking in Brussels on Monday ahead of an opinion — expected to be critical — that the EU's executive Commission is to issue concerning Poland's rule of law and a constitutional conflict. The Commission gave Poland until Monday to find a solution and threatened sanctions.

The government of Poland, an EU member since 2004, has reacted defiantly.

Waszczykowski said that threatening sanctions goes beyond the EU's fundamental treaties and should not be applied.

He says: "This is not the union, not the kind of membership that we have agreed to."