The Netherlands has hit its target of filling its gas reserves to 80% capacity nearly two months early, the energy ministry has confirmed.
EU nations agreed to hit the target figure by November 1 to protect supplies over the winter from the effects of Russia interfering with gas flows to finance its faltering invasion of Ukraine.
On Tuesday energy minister Rob Jetten said 120 local authorities who have energy contracts with Gazprom Energy, the Dutch subsidiary of the Russian state energy firm, could have more time to find alternative suppliers.
Jetten had previously ordered councils to cancel their contracts with Gazprom Energy, by October 10 to comply with sanctions against Vladimir Putin’s regime.
But several municipalities said they were struggling to find an alternative in time and were facing large increases in their energy bills. Jetten has now extended the deadline until January 1.
Other European nations have allowed Gazprom’s subsidiaries to keep supplying gas because their profits go to German-based Securing Energy for Europe, a company created by Germany after Gazprom Germania was put into long-term administration. But Jetten has cast doubt on whether the company is financially independent of Russia.
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