CDU sees former chancellor as Putin’s henchman: “Chancellor Scholz must ensure that Schröder is sanctioned”

Things are now being discussed that were unimaginable a month ago. Does a former German chancellor have to be on the EU sanctions list because of the Russian war against Ukraine? Then Gerhard Schröder’s accounts would have to be frozen and he might no longer be able to travel freely in Europe. Since his mysterious trip to Moscow with a conversation lasting several hours with his intimate friend Vladimir Putin, he has disappeared back into Hanover. Instead of commenting on the talks and whose mission he was actually there, he only said that he would voluntarily renounce honorary citizenship in Hanover. He is no longer an honorary citizen of the city.

The human rights policy spokesman for the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, Michael Brand, calls on the federal government to immediately put Schröder on the EU sanctions list. But in a response from the State Secretary in the Foreign Office, Andreas Michaelis, available to the Tagesspiegel, this has so far been rejected: “Retired Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and Nord Stream 2 AG are not the subject of sanctions by the European Union.” reacted quickly and decisively against Ukraine and imposed comprehensive individual sanctions, financial sanctions and export restrictions as well as other measures. So far, “511 people and two entities have been sanctioned”. Sanctions would be decided unanimously by the member states of the European Union.” The German government has so far left open whether Schröder could still be added if he retains his position as chief executive officer at Nord Stream and Rosneft and also moves into the Gazprom supervisory board as planned.

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Does Schröder represent Putin’s interests?

Brand accuses the federal government of shirking a decision against an important helper of Russian President Putin, who has meanwhile degenerated into a war criminal, namely against ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) must ensure that “Schröder is finally sanctioned too , who was placed in leading positions in the Russian energy sector by Putin himself and who collects hundreds of thousands of euros for representing Putin’s interests,” Brand told the Tagesspiegel. “I can very well imagine that many Social Democrats in Germany are turning their stomachs every day , if you need to see that.”

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The relationship was still intact then. Olaf Scholz welcomes Gerhard Schröder and his wife Soyeon at the opening of a…Photo: Paul Zinken/pa

CDU politician: Schröder’s accounts must be frozen, Scholz must act

It is no longer reasonable for the German taxpayer and the German constitutional state “that a German citizen who is involved in the financing of the brutal war in Ukraine is not on the sanctions list simply because he was once SPD chairman and Federal Chancellor”. said Brand. For him, Schröder is now less an ex-chancellor “and more a foreign agent of Putin, at least in terms of content. And that’s how he has to be treated.”

If he weren’t a former chancellor with an SPD party membership, he would have been on the list for a long time and his accounts would have been frozen. “The rule of law applies to everyone, and there are no people who are above German law. Not even Schröder.”

Pressure for SPD party exclusion is growing

Four SPD associations (Heidelberg, Rhein-Pfalz-Kreis, Leipzig East/Northeast and in Essen-Frohnhausen/Altendorf) are demanding Schröder’s exclusion. Despite a letter from the beginning of March to Schröder with the ultimate demand to distance himself sharply from Putin and his activities in the Russian service, SPD leader Lars Klingbeil leaves open what will happen if Schröder does not distance himself.

Klingbeil used to work in Schröder’s constituency office in Lower Saxony. Now Klingbeil said in the “Bild am Sonntag” that the relationship with Schröder had broken down. “What happened in the last few weeks is of course also a political break between Schröder and me.”

Asked about expelling Schröder from the party, the Lower Saxony SPD state leader Stephan Weil refers to the party’s internal arbitration commission, which has to assess whether behavior that is harmful to the party has taken place. “Party lawyers have very different views,” says Weil. The arbitration commission of the SPD district of Hanover is responsible – first there would be a hearing; but Schröder was not at all willing to do so even during the procedure for his honorary citizenship – and took action on his own initiative.

By Editor

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