Schroeder to leave Rosneft
Germany's former chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is set to exit Rosneft's board of directors, having bowed to public discontent over his continued involvement, in light of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, Al Jazeera reported May 20.
Nord Stream 2's CEO Matthias Warnig will also leave Rosneft. His resignation note said it was "impossible" for the German pair to exercise their board powers effectively. Berlin had previously cancelled Schroeder's official benefits, saying his behaviour merited consequences.
"The coalition parliamentary groups have drawn consequences from the behaviour of former chancellor and lobbyist Gerhard Schroeder in view of the Russian invasion of Ukraine," the parliament decided May 24.
It is still unclear how this will impact Schroeder's application to join Gazprom's supervisory board, which had been set to go ahead next month. Germany's current chancellor Olaf Scholz said the withdrawal of Schroeder's political funding was "logical", but objected to application of further sanctions.
Schroeder has been slammed by critics for being too supportive of the Kremlin, especially in light of his record while in office.
In the final days of his tenure as chancellor in 2005, Schroeder controversially signed off on the letter of intent for the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which bound Germany's natural gas inflows into Russia. He was appointed lead of Nord Stream's board of shareholders weeks after the end of his time in office.
As former heads of government in Germany, all ex-chancellors receive official benefits to highlight their ultimate contribution to public service. Al Jazeera says, for instance, that Schroeder has access to a personal office in Germany's Bundestag. Stripping Schroeder's perks will therefore have come as a major humiliation to the former chancellor.
The situation deteriorated for Schroeder when he was quoted by the New York Times on April 23, as saying he didn't think Russian president Vladimir Putin would have ordered his military's slaughtering of civilians in Bucha. He did accept that he felt the war had been a mistake.