Poland sacks its ambassador in Prague – EURACTIV.com

Polish President Andrzej Duda dismissed Polish Ambassador to Prague Mirosław Jasiński. The move came after Jasiński criticized Poland for its unwillingness to resolve the Czech-Polish dispute over the Turów mine in an interview with the newspaper, Deutsche Welle.

“It was a lack of empathy, a lack of understanding and a lack of willingness to engage in dialogue – and it was mainly on the Polish side,” Jasiński said in the interview published on January 6. Moreover, Jasiński criticized the management of the mine – owned by the state company PGE – for its arrogance.

His comments provoked a strong reaction from Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who launched the procedure leading to Jasiński’s recall just weeks after his appointment. Jasiński became Poland’s ambassador to Czechia in November 2021. Previously, the position had been vacant for over a year.

“In my opinion, it’s a pity because the ambassador was very experienced and we haven’t had a Polish ambassador to the Czech Republic for a long time. If this is based on his statement about the Turów mine, it ‘is all the more unfortunate that the ambassador did not say anything new and nothing that was not true,’ Deputy Chairman of the Czech Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Jaroslav Bžoch, told the Czech news agency.

The Turów dispute has tested Czech-Polish relations since 2020, when Polish authorities extended the license for the open-pit mine located near Czech borders. Prague claims the extension was illegal because the Turów mine drains water resources from nearby Czech villages.

Czechia took the case to the EU Court of Justice, which issued a preliminary measure ordering an immediate halt to mining. Despite a daily penalty for non-compliance with the measure, Poland refuses to follow the judgment.

Prague is open to an amicable settlement if Warsaw signs an agreement obliging Poland to pay compensation and cover expenses related to the construction of the new underground wall to protect Czech villages. However, the negotiations are at an impasse.

The EU Court’s Advocate General is expected to deliver his opinion on the case on February 3.

(Aneta Zachová | EURACTIV.cz)

Berta D. Wells