Poland Wants 368 Hectares of Land from the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic should give Poland 368 hectares of land, which was allocated to its southern neighbours after the border line correction in the 1950s. Talks on this topic have been going on for years.

On Thursday, September 8, Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky and his Polish counterpart Zbigniew Rau discussed Poland’s demands for the return of 368 hectares of land from the Czech Republic, part of an ongoing dispute since the 1950s.

“Foreign Minister Lipavsky was briefly debating the issue of the land debt with his Polish counterpart Rau, during their meeting before the opening of the OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum,” Mariana Wernerova, a press officer from the Foreign Ministry, told CTK.

“Our lawyers are analysing the matter and we will return to it during further talks with the Polish side.”

After World War Two, Poland raised some territorial claims to Czechoslovakia. After an intervention by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, it agreed with the anchoring of the existing border. However, it set the condition that the borderline had to be maximally shortened and straightened.

On the basis of an agreement signed in 1958, the Czechoslovak-Polish border was straightened and shortened by 80 kilometres. This was associated with 85 changes in the course of the borderline.

When the losses and gains of both countries were compared, it turned out that the former Czechoslovakia gained roughly 368 hectares.

In 1992, the foreign ministers of the two countries agreed to settle the claims and a Polish-Czech commission was established to deal with the case, but no progress was made.

In 2005, the Czech government offered financial compensation to Poland instead, but they rejected the offer. In 2014, the Czech authorities drew up an inventory of land intended for transfer to Poland but later withdrew from it.

In March 2021, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki reminded his Czech counterpart at the time, Andrej Babiš, of the border dispute, but received a reply that was, in Mr. Morawiecki’s words, “general and evasive”.

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