Updates: 02/23/2022 11:53 AM
chest: 23.02.2022, 11:53
BERLIN – Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who works for Russian energy companies and is friendly with Russian President Vladimir Putin, has long been criticized in Germany for defending Moscow’s interests. Even during the current Ukraine-Russia crisis, he stood by Russia when he accused Kiev of rattling weapons. According to Focus magazine, now seventy-year-old Schroeder is feeling the consequences of his behavior. The German version of the euronews portal also addresses possible sanctions against Schroeder.
According to Focus, Schroeder is not one of President Putin’s oligarchic circles into which EU retaliation can be directed. “He’s Putin’s bartender at best,” the magazine said. He also noted that in Germany, moreover, the former chancellor was protected by the Western good in the form of freedom of speech, but nevertheless he must be held accountable for his actions.
Focus said about the claims he deserved as a former head of the German government. “But shouldn’t they also have a special responsibility?” I asked the same magazine a question.
“Gerhard Schroeder is instead loyal to a despot ready to invade and whose overt demands for imperial power threaten the security of Europe, so Schröder is acting against the interests of the state he once pledged to maintain peace and freedom,” Focus added.
euronews on the possibility of the European Union imposing sanctions on the Russian energy sector in the wake of the possible Russian invasion of Ukraine. Schroeder is very active here. He is the Chairman of the Nord Stream Shareholders Committee and Chairman of the Nord Stream 2 Board of Directors. These companies operate the gas pipelines that span the Baltic Sea, connecting Russia and Germany. He is also the chairman of the supervisory board of the Russian state energy company Rosneft and could become a member of the supervisory board of the Russian state gas company Gazprom in the summer.
“If one day he finds himself on the EU sanctions list, this EU social democratic policy will not be able to do almost any banking business,” euronews said. The Berliner Zeitung newspaper also drew attention to this danger.
However, Berliner Zeitung writes that the EU hopes that Schroeder, fearing his financial flows, will force Putin to ease the tension. “But it is not clear whether this will affect Putin,” he added.
Schroeder faces significant criticism in Germany for his pro-Kremlin stances, including in his Social Democratic (SPD) home. For example, it was strongly opposed by the head of the Youth Organization of Social Democrats Yosos Jessica Rosenthal. However, SPD general secretary Kevin Koenert said in an interview with the Rheinische Post that Schroeder was not in danger of being fired for a different opinion and protection of business interests.
Social Democratic advisor Olaf Schultz also had to respond to the relationship between Schröder, the SPD and the government at a press conference. “He doesn’t speak for Germany,” Schulz said of the former chancellor.
Schroeder is not only having problems in political circles. The taxpayers’ union has called on the former chancellor to relinquish the benefits he deserves as a former head of the German government. “He is pushing for Russian economic interests through German tax-financed infrastructure,” Michael Jäger, vice president of the association, told Bild newspaper. Schroeder received 407,000 euros (about ten million kronor) from the German budget last year to cover his chancellor’s personnel expenses.
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