Ukrainian FM urges sanctions against German ex-chancellor Schröder
The foreign minister of Ukraine has said that Western sanctions against Russia should also cover former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder.
Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. Photo: Eastfrisian [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Amid tensions between the West and Russia, sanctions should also be slapped on Schröder, "the most important Putin lobbyist in the world," the Ukrainian foreign minister, Pavlo Klimkin, said in an interview for a German newspaper, according to a report by Poland’s onet.pl news service.
“It is important that there are sanctions not only against members of the Russian government and Russian state-owned enterprises, but also against those who are pushing [Vladimir] Putin's projects abroad,” Klimkin told Germany's Bild tabloid, as quoted by onet.pl.
Meanwhile, German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen told Bild that the idea of imposing sanctions on Schröder should be approached with “great caution,” onet.pl reported.
Schröder, who left the post of Germany’s chancellor in 2005, is strongly involved in lobbying for the planned gas link between Russia and Germany under the Baltic Sea, onet.pl said, referring to the controversial Nord Stream 2 project opposed by countries including Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic states.
In September last year, Schröder took over as chairman of the board of directors of Russian oil giant Rosneft, and he also heads the shareholders' committee of the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 companies.
Elmar Brok, a foreign policy expert with the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU), the party led by Germany’s current Chancellor Angela Merkel, has told Bild that “it is a scandal” that a former German chancellor "now represents Putin's interests" abroad, onet.pl said.
"And it is amazing that this has had no consequences in the public debate so far," Brok said, as quoted by the Polish website.