Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder distances himself for the first time from Vladimir Putin


Russia has crossed borders “which should not be crossed,” said the ex-chancellor in an interview. He not only cites the annexation of Crimea as an example.

For the first time, the former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (SPD) distanced himself significantly from Russian President Vladimir Putin with a view to the Russian annexation of the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula. In the magazine “Spiegel” Schröder said: “The annexation of Crimea was a clear breach of international law.” He continued to reject sanctions against Russia.

“I don’t think so, because I don’t see what they should achieve,” said Schröder to “Spiegel”. He expressed himself with conviction: “There will be no Russian president who pulls the Crimea out again.”

Criticism of Russia’s ties to the AfD

Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. In other cases, too, the country has crossed borders “that should not be crossed,” said Schröder, who is on friendly terms with Putin. As an example, he also cited the “hacker attack on the Bundestag, among others,” for which Russia is held responsible.

The former Chancellor also criticized the Kremlin’s relationship with right-wing extremist parties such as the AfD. “I think that’s a mistake. I can’t understand it,” he emphasized.

Schröder is repeatedly criticized for his closeness to Putin. Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny criticized him in October 2020 as “Putin’s errand boy”. The former Federal Chancellor also holds a high position for the Gazprom Group, which is closely linked to the Russian state. In this context, like other Social Democrats, he is emphatically promoting the construction of the controversial Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 2.

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