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UPDATE 1-Czech govt ready to talk about Turow mine with Poland -minister

(Adds minister’s quote, background)

PRAGUE, May 24 (Reuters) - The Czech government is ready to talk with Poland about the Turow lignite mine, where the Czech side wanted mining to stop, Environment Minister Richard Brabec said on Monday.

The Court of Justice of the European Union said last week that Poland must immediately stop mining lignite coal at the Turow mine operated by state-run PGE.

“We are ready for talks, we have been saying it for several years, unfortunately there had to be this ruling, I am glad that the court ruled in our favor,” Brabec said at a televised briefing.

He said Czech and Polish officials were already in talks, with the aim of having something ready for both prime ministers who will meet at a European Council session which starts on Monday.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has said earlier on Monday he did not expect the lignite mine in Turow to close, and that Warsaw wanted to negotiate with the Czech Republic and the EU’s top court on the matter.

The Czech Republic filed a lawsuit in February calling for a halt to activities at the mine, located near the Czech and German borders, saying Warsaw had violated EU law by extending mining at Turow until 2026.

Nonetheless, the Polish government last month extended a concession to allow mining at Turow to continue until 2044 - prompting the European Commission to say the region will not receive money from the EU’s flagship green transition fund.

Reporting by Robert Muller; editing by David Evans and Bernadette Baum

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