11.Jul .2022 21:00

Germany's Ex-Chancellor Refuses To Disassociate Himself From Putin

Germany's Ex-Chancellor Refuses To Disassociate Himself From Putin
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Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has said he wants to maintain contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin despite pressure for him to break off their friendship because of Moscow's war in Ukraine.

"I will not give up my opportunities for talks with President Putin," Schroeder told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper in comments published on July 10.

Schroeder, a Social Democrat, was Germany's chancellor from 1998 to 2005 and after leaving office was made chairman of the board of Russian state-owned oil giant Rosneft.

He resigned from the position at Rosneft in May and rejected a nomination to the Gazprom board that had been put forward before Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Schroeder faced fierce criticism in Germany for years over his work for the companies.

In the newspaper interview, Schroeder said he did not believe in a military solution to the war in Ukraine and that his understanding after visiting Putin in March was that Putin was interested in a negotiated solution.

"What such a solution looks like can only be clarified in a negotiation," he said.

Schroeder made it clear that he believes Ukraine is to blame for the fact that negotiations have failed so far.

Other members of Germany’s Social Democrat Party have distanced themselves from Schroeder, RFE/RL reports.