Warsaw to recall ambassador to Prague after Poland criticism | News | DW | 07.01.2022

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Warsaw to recall ambassador to Prague after Poland criticism

Poland is set to recall its own ambassador from the Czech Republic for appearing to criticize his own country in a DW interview. Warsaw said "irresponsible statements" had been made over a border mining dispute.

The Czech Republic says the mine drains ground water away from inhabited areas, among other negative effects

The Czech Republic says the mine drains water away from inhabited areas, among other negative effects

The Polish government on Thursday said the country's new ambassador to Prague would be recalled after comments that appeared to blame Warsaw in a dispute over a border coal mine.

Warsaw said Polish Ambassador Miroslaw Jasinski had made unacceptable comments about Poland's disagreement with the Czech Republic.

Polish government spokesman Piotr Müller tweeted that Jasinski would be ordered back to Warsaw.

"Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has decided to start the procedure for recalling the Polish Ambassador to the Czech Republic," Müller said. "Extremely irresponsible statements about the Turow mine are not acceptable."

Long-running dispute

The reference to the Turow mine relates to a long-running dispute with the Czech Republic, which wants the facility closed. 

Speaking to DW's Polish service, the ambassador had expressed confidence that an "amicable" solution to the dispute would be found.

However, Jasinski went on to address the origins of the row, saying it came from "a lack of empathy, a lack of understanding and a lack of willingness to engage in dialogue — above all on the Polish side."

The European Union's top court last September ordered Poland to pay Brussels a daily fine of €500,000 (about $565,000) for failing to close the huge mine, which extracts lignite — a low quality brown coal.

Warsaw had been told by the court in May to stop the mining after Prague complained that it created a cross-border environmental hazard and breached EU law.

Polish reluctance

The Polish government says that shutting the mine would put the country's energy security "at risk." The mine fuels a power station, providing some 7% of the country's electricity. 

Poland's largest energy group PGE, which owns both the mine and the plant, has said it intends to extract coal at Turow until 2044. Coal meets up to 80% of Poland's energy needs.

Edited by: John Silk