Prague, Czech Republic – Poland’s new ambassador to the Czech Republic is to be recalled after criticizing his own government over its handling of the Turow mine dispute.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has initiated the dismissal of Poland’s ambassador to the Czech Republic Miroslaw Jasinski, government spokesman Piotr Muller announced on Twitter, calling his recent statements “extremely irresponsible.”
“Every Polish diplomat is obliged to look after Polish interests,” he wrote.
A former screenwriter and film director, M. Jasinski became Poland’s top envoy in Prague only last month.
In a recent interview with Deutsche Welle, he argued that “a lack of empathy, a lack of understanding and a lack of willingness to engage in dialogue – above all on the Polish side” was to blame for the dispute between the two Central European neighbours on the controversial Turow coal mine.
Located just over the border with the Czech Republic, Poland’s Turow open-pit coal mine has been at the heart of a rare dispute between the two Visegrad allies.
Highlighting the mine’s hazardous environmental impact on its own population living on the order side of the border and claiming it breaches EU laws, the Czech Republic took Poland to court in 2021.
Last May, the EU’s top court ruled in favour of Prague, ruling Poland should stop mining activities and ordering, in September, the Polish government to pay a daily fine of €500,000 for failing to comply with the injunction.
Warsaw has so far refused to pay the fine and to shut down activities at the lignite mine, which accounts for roughly 7% of the country’s electricity production.
For more on this story, you can read our in-depth report looking at the grievances of Czechs affected by the mine, and why Poles on the other side of the border are reluctant to accept Prague’s demands.