Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder wants to leave the supervisory board of the Russian oil company Rosneft. Schröder, who is the head of the Rosneft supervisory board, said it was impossible for him to extend his mandate on the board, the group said on Friday.
No details or reasons were given. The German businessman Matthias Warnig is leaving the supervisory board with Schröder.
The 78-year-old Schröder, a longtime friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has recently been under massive pressure in the face of demands in Germany that he no longer works as an oil and gas lobbyist for Russia because of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine.
The SPD politician also holds management positions in the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 pipeline projects – both natural gas pipelines through the Baltic Sea connecting Russia and Germany.
The pending commissioning of Nord Stream 2 has now been put on hold by the federal government. Warnig is the head of the Nord Stream 2 operating company.
Among other things, Schröder caused a stir when, in the middle of the escalation before the Russian attack on the neighboring country, he criticized Ukraine’s demands for arms deliveries as “saber rattling”.
Prior to Rosneft’s announcement, it had become known that Schröder was having the decision by the Bundestag’s Budget Committee to abolish his former chancellor’s privileges legally reviewed. The lawyer Michael Nagel confirmed a corresponding report by the “Spiegel” on Friday in Hanover.
“I ask for your understanding that further questions will not be answered at this point in time,” said the lawyer of the German Press Agency. Nagel had defended Christian Wulff in the process of taking advantage, the ex-Federal President was acquitted in early 2014.
On Thursday, the budget committee in Berlin voted to close the former chancellor’s office. The approval of a corresponding application by the traffic light coalition is the culmination of the ostracism of the former SPD leader because of his ongoing ties to Russia.
For legal reasons, however, Schröder’s relations with Russia and Putin were not used to justify the deletion of the office. Rather, according to the traffic light application, financial support will depend on whether former top politicians actually still take on tasks. It was said that Schröder no longer accepted any obligations from his time as Chancellor.