German ex-foreign minister linked to Russia?
PR dla Zagranicy
German ex-Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel appears to be following in the footsteps of former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, “the Kremlin's most famous lobbyist”, according to a Polish daily.
Sigmar Gabriel. Photo: Martin Kraft [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]
Gabriel was Germany’s foreign minister until March this year.
Poland’s Rzeczpospolita daily said on Wednesday that Gabriel is reported to have joined a consulting company “with connections to the Russians.”
Rzeczpospolita reported that Austrian and German media had discovered that Gabriel was on a list of shareholders of the new company.
Several other influential social democratic politicians from Austria and Germany are also on the list, according to Rzeczpospolita.
The paper cited Manuel Sarrazin, a member of the German Greens, as saying that, if it is confirmed that Gabriel has joined a consulting company with connections to Russia, such a move would mean the ex-foreign minister is hoping to follow Schröder's example and take advantage of political proximity to the Kremlin.
While still in his post, Gabriel in 2017 proposed lifting sanctions on Russia, Rzeczpospolita reported.
Schröder, meanwhile, left his post as German chancellor in 2005.
He has been strongly involved in lobbying for a gas link between Russia and Germany under the Baltic Sea, Poland’s onet.pl news service reported earlier this year, referring to the controversial Nord Stream 2 project opposed by countries including Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic states.
Schröder is also chairman of the board of directors of Russian energy giant Rosneft.