Polish minister to visit Prague in last attempt to defuse Turów coal mine dispute

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By Euronews
Cars block the border between the Czech Republic and Poland near the Turow coal mine.
Cars block the border between the Czech Republic and Poland near the Turow coal mine.   -  Copyright  AP Photo/Petr David Josek, File

Poland's climate and environment minister is expected to visit Prague on Friday to resume talks on the Turów lignite mine.

Anna Moskwa will visit the Czech capital for talks in an attempt to defuse tensions over the border.

Moskwa was only appointed to the role last week and seems to have made the Turów mine a priority.

The Czech Republic has complained that the open-cast Turow mine has drained water from villages near the Polish border.

In May, the European Court of Justice ordered mine operations to "immediately cease" and later fined Poland €500,000 per day for ignoring the injunction.

Warsaw says that Turow and an adjacent power plant generate some 7% of the nation’s energy and light up millions of households.

Thousands of Polish coal miners demonstrated outside the EU court in Luxembourg last month against the Turów mine's closure.

Warsaw says it has offered a compromise to Prague, but talks have so far failed to bring a solution.

Meanwhile, Poland was also accused of backtracking from the COP26 agreement to end coal use sooner.

More than 20 countries signed a pledge for new or earlier deadlines at the UN climate conference in Glasgow.

But in a later tweet, Moskwa cited the Polish government's existing plan "for a departure from hard coal by 2049".

Poland is the second-biggest user of coal in Europe after Germany, and hours earlier it had seemed that the EU country might bring that deadline forward by at least a decade.

"Energy security and the assurances of jobs is a priority for us," Moskwa added.

Additional sources • AP