Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is facing pressure from his own party, as well as the European Union, to resign from his board with Russian state power giant Rosneft.
In the same week, a draft proposal was tabled by the four largest parties in the European Parliament, the EU’s legislature, “strongly demanding” Schroeder to resign from Rosneft. It explicitly calls on the former German leader to follow in the footsteps of a few more European politicians who have come out of Russian organizations.
Former Chancellor and friend of Putin at the center of Germany’s Russia struggle
Marcus Ferber, a draft lawmaker and center-right member of the European Parliament, told Reuters that holding a senior position in a large state-controlled company meant that Schroeder was “cooperating closely with Russia.”
He added that his proposal was intended to prevent Schroeder from taking a board position at Gazprom, another major Russian power agency. There’s Ferber Advocate for Adding Schroeder to EU sanctions list and seizing assets of former German leader
Schroeder could not immediately be reached for comment.
The 77-year-old former chancellor has become a symbol of Germany’s deep-rooted relationship with Russia – Berlin is now trying to scale that relationship again. Schroeder was instrumental in facilitating the Nord Stream 2 deal, a গ 11 billion natural gas pipeline that connects Russian territories directly to Germany. It was a sticking point for Berlin until the current Chancellor Olaf Schulz stopped certifying the project two days before the war.
In March, Schulz, who is on the same team as Schroeder, told local media that severing ties with Russian companies was the right move. Schroeder’s obligation to Germany, Scholes said, did not end after he left office.
Since February 24, the day Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the launch of his aggression, public anger towards the former chancellor has increased. Despite facing international condemnation of the Russian military’s atrocities against Ukraine’s civilian population, Schroeder has chosen not to distance himself from the Kremlin leader.
In a recent interview with the New York Times, Schroeder called Putin’s war a “mistake” and said there should be an investigation into the killing of Ukrainian civilians in Bucharest. But he has denied any involvement with Putin, saying “the bloodshed in Bucharest was not at the behest of the Russian leader.”
Loveday Morris in Berlin contributed to this report.