EU advocate says Poland broke law by logging in forest

The European Union's top advocate says Poland has infringed environmental laws with its massive logging of trees in one of Europe's last pristine forests.

The opinion published Tuesday by Advocate General Yves Bot could bring a ruling from the EU's Court of Justice against Poland's actions in the Bialowieza Forest a step nearer.

Observers say the opinions from the advocate general are often adopted in final rulings.

Poland's new Environment Minister Henryk Kowalczyk said the government will abide by any ruling.

In 2016, the previous minister authorized massive logging in the forest, saying he was fighting an outbreak of bark beetle infestation.

Environmentalists and EU experts say the felling of trees destroys rare animal habitats and plants, in violation of regulations. They brought the case before the court last year.