Russian ships enter Dutch ports, energy sourced from former Gazprom companies, transactions through Russian-owned banks

Despite European sanctions imposed on Russia after the start of the war in Ukraine, the Dutch government has granted dozens of exemptions to Russian companies on the list, according to the Dutch publication. rtlnieuws.

This is evident from the list of concerned ministries. Exempt companies and organizations are not required to comply with applicable restrictions. The Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Economic Affairs, Finance, Infrastructure and Education are willing to be exempted, Dutch journalists note.

Since the start of the war, as of the end of February, the ministries have granted a total of 91 exemptions. This is done to “allow a certain degree of flexibility in specific cases,” according to a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs. An example is a Dutch company that wants to get another payment from Russia.

Since April, a port embargo has been in effect for ships flying the Russian flag in the European Union. However, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management is allowed to permit vessels with specific loads. This is, for example, aluminum and food. In 34 cases, ships were allowed access to Dutch ports.

Dutch companies may acquire energy from former Gazprom companies. In early September, Minister Jeton (Climate and Energy) granted an exemption to companies that have energy contracts with Gazprom Nederland, a subsidiary of Russian giant Gazprom.

Jetton originally wanted to terminate the contracts, but made an exception. Gazprom’s European companies were taken over by the German government and are now called SEFE Energy (Secure Energy for Europe). According to German officials, not a cent went to Russia.

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Also, the Minister of Foreign Trade is likely to waive the sanctions. 13 different organizations received a total of 18 waivers from Minister Schreinmacher. According to the ministry, the reasons are “humanitarian reasons” and cooperation between the EU and Russia for “purely civil matters”.

The Finance Minister may exempt frozen assets or finance assets subject to embargo provisions. This happened 13 times.

The Ministry of External Affairs once granted an exemption to allow “diplomatic relations”. For that diplomatic exchange, transactions are possible with a Russian financial institution on the sanctions list. These are banks in which more than 50% of the shares are owned by the Russian state, such as Sberbank, VTB, VEB or Gazprombank.

The Ministry of External Affairs said the concerned ministries did not want to make the names of the companies and departments public because it was “sensitive information for the companies”. The ministry also did not want to disclose the value of exemptions.

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