Free European Union flags image, public domain CC0 photo.

The Hague, the Dutch city, announced on Thursday that it would request a temporary exemption from EU sanctions against Russia because it is unable to find a substitute for its contract with Russian gas provider Gazprom in time.

The European Union sanctions imposed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine require governments and other public organizations to terminate current relationships with Russian enterprises by October 10.

This means that The Hague must find a new gas provider to replace its present arrangement with Gazprom.

The city stated that it held an EU-wide tender in June and July but received no proposals from potential vendors.

Individual conversations with suppliers were certain to result in an agreement, according to alderman Saskia Bruines, but not before the Oct. 10 deadline.

“We will ask for an exemption for our current arrangement until Jan. 1 2023 to guarantee the safety of supply and to facilitate negotiations,” she said.

Bruines expressed confidence that the postponement would be granted because The Hague had met the criteria of having a timely tender without a favorable outcome.

She did, however, caution that any new contract that goes into force on January 1 would be much more expensive than the city’s present arrangement with Gazprom.

The European Commission’s spokeswoman could not immediately comment on the report.

The Hague is one of many Dutch towns having an energy deal with Gazprom, but it is the first to say it will seek an exemption from the penalties.

Source: Reuters

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