Rumors Place Germany’s Putin-Friendly Ex-Chancellor in Moscow for Ukraine Talks

MOSCOW, Russian Federation: Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) talks to and German Chanc

Multiple reports claim former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who took joined the boards of Russian gas companies after approving the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, flew to Russia for ‘secret’ peace talks with Vladimir Putin.

Gerhard Schröder, who formerly served as Germany’s centre-left Chancellor and who oversaw an intended intensification of energy imports from Russia through the creation of a controversial new pipeline, is reportedly in Moscow for peace talks with Vladimir Putin regarding the ongoing Ukraine conflict.

Schröder — who has close personal and business ties with both Russia and its president — is said to have made the journey without the knowledge or prior approval of the current German government, according to extraordinary claims made by POLITICO.

According to the report, an unnamed source claimed Putin is to meet Schröder on Thursday to discuss an end to the ongoing violent conflict in Ukraine.

Germany’s biggest-selling newspaper BILD cites its own sources — again unnamed — claiming that Schröder is indeed in Moscow, adding that he allegedly flew via Turkey on Wednesday and that his presence is at the request of the Ukrainian government.

The pair famously have an extremely good relationship, to the point that Schröder is a board member of a number of Russian state energy ventures, including serving as the President of the board of directors for Nord Stream 2 AG.

Schröder’s senior position in this now suspended project is particularly notable, considering he was the one who initially gave the go-ahead for the project in Germany during his time as Chancellor, as well as how extremely reliant modern Germany is on Russian gas since his time in the job.

These links have resulted in widespread criticism of Schröder, with many politicians having previously called for his privileges as ex-Chancellor to be stripped from him over his ties with Russia’s elite, while several of his own staff have also quit after he refused to surrender his positions in Russian energy giants Rosneft and Gazprom.

Those within his own party — the ruling SPDs — have been especially critical of their former leader, with ten senior members in the party signing an open letter imploring him to distance himself from Putin and denounce the war in “clear words”.

“Many people are looking at you. And you decide yourself these days, dear Gerhard, whether you want to remain a respected social democrat in the future,” the letter read.

However, it appears that neither those within his party nor within the Federal government were aware of Schröder’s Moscow plans, with Bild reporting that Berlin was not informed regarding his “secret mission” to meet Putin, while SPD officials reportedly knew nothing about it.

Bild also emphasises that Schröder cannot be travelling in his capacity as ex-Chancellor or a political envoy for the country.


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