Prompt conclusion of Polish-Czech mine dispute unlikely - official
A government minister has downplayed talk of a quick settlement to a dispute between Poland and the Czech Republic over the Turów lignite mine.
"I think it will be possible to reach an accord with the Czech Republic on Turów, but I do not expect it to happen very quickly," State Assets Minister Jacek Sasin told a public radio broadcaster on Tuesday.
The Czech government has gone to the European Court of Justice (CJEU) to get the mine, which lies close to the Czech border, closed owing to environmental concerns.
In a preliminary ruling, the court demanded that the mine cease operations.
But Poland has so far refused to shut down Turów, calling the court's decision "disproportionate" and a threat to the stability of the country's energy system.
"We are committed to resolving this dispute," said Sasin. "The Czech side has declared its willingness to amicably resolve the conflict and, as Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki agreed with (Czech) Prime Minister (Andrej) Babis, to withdraw a complaint to the CJEU after concluding an appropriate agreement," Sasin said.
He added that Poland is ready to participate in the costs of environmental protection measures carried out on the Czech side of the border, as well as to finance similar work in Poland.
According to Sasin, the resolution of the dispute may be made more difficult by the political situation in the Czech Republic.
"There is an election campaign going on and the issue of Turów is part of the campaign. The main competitor of the ruling party, the Czech Pirate Party, holds a strong ecological position, which does not facilitate the conclusion of an agreement," he said.
Another round of Polish-Czech negotiations over the mine is being held in Prague over the issue.