The Czechs are lying and conspiring with the Germans, say the Poles. Prague wants to continue to act
“By rejecting our generous offer, the Czechs may care that they care about their citizens, but something else. Maybe on German interests, “he said on Monday morning radio RMF FM Polish MEP Zbigniew Kuźmiuk. Similarly, to the address of Prague and at the same time Berlin expressed i Kuźmik’s party colleague from Law and Justice (PiS) Jacek Saryusz-Wolski.
“Czechs do someone else’s will”
The MEP, who was pushed by the PiS party to the presidency of the European Council years ago, claimed on Catholic television Trwam over the weekend that “it is possible that the Czechs in the dispute over Turów are only doing the will of someone else”. “We know that the law firm that works for the Czech side is a German law firm. We know that the move has the support of the Saxon Minister of the Environment and the Prime Minister of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, “says the Conservatives, alluding to the” anti-Polish conspiracy. “
Politicians of Polish governing parties have not spared strong expressions at the address of Prague (as well as Berlin and Brussels) for a long time, and they sharpened their rhetoric again last week. After the Polish delegation left Prague on Thursday night after the failure of the talks, the two sides blamed each other and the Polish and Czech versions of the reason for the end of negotiations on the Polish lignite mine Turów are diametrically opposed.
Representatives of the Czech negotiating team claim that the agreement with Poland is ready to be signed and that only the Polish proposal that the agreement lasts only two years is unacceptable. “If the resignation were possible in a very short time, then everything we have agreed would lose its meaning,” said Minister of the Environment Richard Brabec from the YES movement on Friday.
The agreement between the Czech and Polish parties concerning the Turów mine was almost finalized, and a legally cleaned text was prepared. The question of the period of application of the individual provisions of the Treaties remains to be resolved. It is not uncommon in international law, if it protects a specific interest, for the possibility of termination to be bound for a long time (examples are investment contracts). It is not acceptable for the Czech Republic when, as a result of negotiations, the Polish side came up with the required possibilities of termination after two years, although mining is to take place for another 23 years, according to the current permit.
Contradictory statements of Prague and Warsaw
On the contrary, the deputy of the Polish Foreign Ministry said on the night of Thursday to Friday that “the Czechs began to behave completely irrationally.” “It was about expectation, completely detached from international practice, that there be a clause in the agreement that would make it impossible to terminate it for many years. This is completely unheard of in international practice, “said Paweł Jabłoński.
Such statements provoked the reaction of the head of Czech diplomacy Jakub Kulhánek from the CSSD, who commented on the matter on Twitter: “Negotiations on Turów are lengthy, we have always respected the confidentiality of negotiations. Now we are acting irrationally – I must refuse! Poland came at the last minute with a request that the agreement be valid for only 2 years. But 22 years have to be mined in the Turów mine! We must logically strive for more than 2 years. “
Kulhánek’s tweet triggered another avalanche of Polish reactions. Get to him on Friday expressed Polish Minister of Climate Michał Kurtyka, according to whom it is a matter of Czech political calculation and the stretching of “theater”.
The whole series of tweets was then “dedicated” to Kulhánek by the already mentioned Deputy Jabłoński. According to him, the Czech minister is lying about the reason for the failure of the negotiations. “We must in the habit of revealing the content of the negotiations, but because the Czech foreign minister is not telling the truth, we are forced to do so,” says the politician. An account of the Polish Embassy in Prague was published in the Czech translation of his statement.
Result of opatřenígovernment measures: the inhabitants of the Liberec Region will receive NO money for water projects, NO additional groundwater monitoring, which is not required by law; the mine will be able to approach the border without ANY other conditions.
– PLinCzechia (@PLinCzechia) October 3, 2021
“We did not offer a contract for 2 years. Our offer is valid until the end of the mining activity, with the possibility of termination – in the event of its misuse by one of the parties, “says Jabłoński. He expressed himself in a similar spirit in an interview with the Polish pro-government server WPolityce.pl.
On the Czech side, however, in addition to Ministers Brabec and Kulhánek, the Governor of Liberec, Martin Půta from STAN, and the sources of the List of Reports from the negotiating team also apply to the Polish request for two years.
Czech diplomacy is reluctant to comment on the Polish accusation of lying. “As for the media reactions in Poland, we perceive them as messages to the Polish public and part of the domestic political rivalry. The main intention of Czech diplomacy and the Ministry of the Environment has always been to protect the interests of Czech citizens living near the Turów lignite mine and especially their rights to access water, “wrote Eva Davidová, a spokeswoman for the ministry, on Monday afternoon.
We described the effects of the mine dispute on trust in Czech-Polish relations on Friday. Marek Aurelius Pędziwol, a Polish journalist for the Deutsche Welle server, said that Warsaw was now looking for leverage in the Czechia, which could result in further neighborhood disputes and possibly inadmissibility of Czech companies in government contracts.
In Poland, the topic is covered in the newspaper on Monday Rzeczpospolita in the article “Dispute over Turów. The Czechs stopped believing in Poland “. The newspaper reminds that the Czechia does not trust Poland and demands a huge penalty of EUR 500 million for violating the breach of the mutual agreement. Based on the Czech proposal, Warsaw is already to pay half a million euros a day, ie 12.7 million crowns, into the EU budget. However, according to Polish politicians, Poland has not yet paid the fine.
The penalty was imposed in September by an EU court for the Polish government’s failure to comply with the court’s preliminary measures of May, which show an “immediate suspension of mining” in Turów. As of September 20, the fine is almost 190 million crowns. The money is to be paid by Warsaw to the EU budget, and if it does not pay, it should be deducted from the funds intended as a subsidy for Poland.
HN: The meeting was stopped by Babiš, he is afraid of ecologists
According to Hospodářské newspaper is behind the collapse of the negotiations, the concern of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš from the YES movement about the negative reactions of environmentalists to the negotiated compromise. The diary refers to the source of “close negotiations”. Sources The List of Reports, on the other hand, says that the Polish side wanted to change the negotiated terms at the last minute.
On Thursday, environmental organizations such as Greenpeace and Frank Bold called the quick conclusion of a secret agreement scandalous and unfavorable for the Czech landscape and border residents, the term “Munich agreement” was also used at the time.
Hospodářské noviny points out that the Polish side is worried about the results of the Czech parliamentary elections, or rather the possible long formation of a new Czech government. The first court hearing on the Czech lawsuit against Poland is scheduled for the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg in early November. Until then, the Czech side planned to conclude the use of its strong negotiating positions and agreements.
The dispute also has a paralyzing effect on the Visegrad Group and thus weakens Poland’s position on the international stage. Warsaw’s clash with Brussels over Poland’s breach of the rule of law is gaining momentum and the country is in danger of having a halt in the disbursement of funds from the EU Reconstruction Fund, as well as EU money in general.
Who is left with Warsaw?
Rzeczpospolita recalls that Polish diplomacy has recently failed to maintain good relations with the Allies. Recently, for example, there has been a significant cooling of relations with the United States. Polish Conservatives were betting on Donald Trump to win and ran into President Joe Biden’s administration. Polish President Andrzej Duda also recently boycotted German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s farewell trip to Warsaw, and the Polish government is apprehensive about the nascent German coalition led by the left-wing Social Democrats and with the participation of the Greens.
Like the Czechia, Poland now behaves in relation to Great Britain. One Czech foreign minister, Kulhánek, summoned the British ambassador to the Czech Republic over insults of Czech children in the media and on the Internet after a football match between Sparta Prague and Glasgow Rangers
The position of the Czech Republic, on the other hand, may be weakened by the current affair of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš regarding the purchase of real estate in France. The report on Panama Papers is also mentioned in the Polish media and on social networks in connection with the Czech demands regarding Turów.
It is not clear when negotiations on Turów will continue. On the other hand, the chairman of the Polish Sejm, Elżbieta Witková from PiS, said on Sunday that she had to wait for the result of the Czech elections and at the same time repeated the theory that the Turów dispute was an instrument of the Czech election campaign.
In response to a question from the List of News, Eva Davidová, a spokeswoman for Czech diplomacy, wrote that she still believed in the agreement. “We are still ready to act and we believe that we will be able to withdraw the desired agreements. (…) The Czech side was very constructive throughout the negotiations and actively submitted proposals for solutions, “said the spokesperson.