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English Section

Progress made, no breakthrough in Poland’s talks with Czechs over lignite mine: deputy FM

25.09.2021 07:00
Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Paweł Jabłoński has said that progress has been made, but there has been no breakthrough in the country’s talks with the Czech Republic over a contentious lignite mine at the two countries' shared border.
Paweł Jabłoński.
Paweł Jabłoński.Photo: Tymon Markowski/MSZ

Last week, the EU Court of Justice (CJEU) said that Poland must pay a EUR 500,000 daily fine to the European Commission for defying an order to halt operations at its Turów lignite mine near the Czech border.

According to the court, mining was likely to have a negative impact on groundwater levels in the neighbouring Czech Republic.

But the Polish government is reluctant to shut the power plant, which, supplied with lignite from the nearby mine, provides between 4 and 7 percent of Poland's power output.

After bilateral talks on Friday, Jabłoński told public broadcaster Polish Radio that “the negotiations will resume next week.”

Jabłoński stressed that Poland wanted to maintain “very good relations with the Czech Republic.”

“We are partners within NATO, the EU, as well as in a number of other projects, including the Visegrad Group. We believe that if we argue, we should argue in a way that is based on mutual trust,” Jabłoński said.

He added that the Czech side might be lingering on reaching an agreement because of political reasons. “I am aware that in a situation when parliamentary elections are approaching in the country [in the Czech Republic] it may be tempting from a political point of view to delay some matters,” he said.

Jabłoński also said that the Polish government has proposed an effective and substantive solution to the problem. “If the Czech side is willing to end this matter as planned at the beginning, it should respond very soon.”

On Monday, a meeting of Polish and Czech environment ministers is set to be held.


Source: IAR