Posted in 24. April 2022, 1:50
Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has been criticized for his friendly relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Now he was interviewed for the first time since the beginning of the war.
He is trusted by “at least one side”: Gerhard Schröder (right) with Vladimir Putin. (archival image)
REUTERS / Alexei Nikolski
The former chancellor (left) has been criticized for having a friendly relationship with Putin.
AFP / Alexey Druzhinin
Schröder gave the New York Times his first interview since Russia’s war against aggression in Ukraine began two months ago.
REUTERS / Stefanie Loos
Germany needs raw materials from Russia, says former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder.
Believes that massive economic sanctions against Russia are unsustainable in the long run.
He was interviewed for the first time since the beginning of the war of aggression against Ukraine.
Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder does not believe that massive economic sanctions against Russia are sustainable in the long term. A country like Russia cannot be “isolated” in the long run, either politically or economically, Schröder said in an interview with the New York Times (paid article) published Saturday. German industry needs raw materials from Russia, not only oil and gas, but also rare earths. These metals are used in many high-tech products.
This is the first interview with Schröder since the beginning of Russia’s war with Ukraine two months ago. The former chancellor is severely criticized, incl. in his own party, for friendly relations with the Russian President Vladimir Putin and for his role in the gas pipeline company Nord Stream AG.
“Peace depends on dialogue with Russia”
An injunction against Schröder is pending in the SPD. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) called on Schröder to resign from positions in state-owned Russian energy companies.
Schröder did not comment on this requirement in an interview. He only said that he would “give up” if Russia stopped supplying Germany with energy. The former chancellor is chairman of the shareholders’ committee of Nord Stream AG, as well as chairman of the supervisory board of the Russian state-owned energy company Rosneft.
In an interview with the American newspaper, Schröder opposed the German energy embargo against Russia. He also expressed the expectation that relations with Moscow would be resumed after the end of the war in Ukraine. He said peace and prosperity in Germany and Europe will always depend on dialogue with Russia.
“At least one side” trusts Schröder
Schröder distanced himself from the Russian invasion of Ukraine: This war was a “mistake”, he always said. Regarding the killings of many Ukrainian civilians in Bucza, for which Russian soldiers are responsible, he said that this had to be “investigated”. However, he does not believe that the relevant instructions have come from Putin.
The former chancellor offered his brokerage services again. A peaceful solution must be found as soon as possible. He does what he can and trusts him “at least one side” – he emphasized, referring to his close ties with the Kremlin.
According to media reports, Schröder traveled to Moscow in early March to campaign to end the war in Ukraine. Putin is interested in ending the war, he now assured in an interview with the New York Times. But it is “not so easy” to find a peaceful solution.
Are you or someone you know concerned about the war in Ukraine?
Here you will find help for yourself and others:
Registration and information for host families:
As a member, you become part of a 20-minute community and enjoy great benefits and exclusive contests every day!