Czech-Polish talks reported to have made progress in resolving Turow mine dispute

The Czech Republic and Poland are reported to have made “significant progress” toward resolving a dispute over the Turow lignite mine during talks on Friday. Czech Environment Minister Richard Brabec said there were indications that the dispute could be resolved out of court, although he said nothing was certain until all the details had been settled. “We made significant progress in some sticking points and we believe that after further talks there will be more progress,” Brabec said at a press briefing on Friday.

The controversy has soured Czech-Polish relations after Prague took the dispute to Europe’s top court and Poland was ordered to pay a 500,000-euro daily penalty to the European Commission for refusing to halt operations at Turow until a verdict had been passed. The Turow mine was recently expanded further towards the Czech border and the Czech authorities are concerned about loss of ground water and pollution.

Minister Richard Brabec said that he expected to meet his Polish counterpart, Michal Kurtyka, next week and after that expert teams would work to finalize the details of an emerging agreement.