The Chancellor asked for “My Way” from Frank Sinatra for a big tap. And so Gerhard Schröder heard the tones of a classic whose refrain says, “I did it my way.”
In a way, Schröder continued as a former chancellor. On the evening of December 9, 2005, 17 days after leaving office, his cell phone rang. At the other end is Vladimir Putin. He urges him to lead a committee of Nord Stream shareholders controlled by Russia’s Gazprom group, which is to build the first gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea between Russia and Germany, for which Schröder has prepared the way.
“Are you afraid to work for us?” Putin asks him. Schroeder accepts the job. He has now told the New York Times that these are the first lengthy statements since Putin’s attack on Ukraine and Schröder’s sinister mediation mission to Putin in Moscow.
A report called “Putin’s Man in Germany” could still play a role in the ongoing process of party expulsion, the SPD stressed on Sunday. Four SPD associations requested the expulsion of Schröder from the party. Also, in order not to jeopardize this process – lessons learned from the severe exclusionary proceedings against Thilo Sarrazin – the SPD management does not want to comment on the details of the report – no new situation, internally emphasized.
Schröder continues to refuse to meet the demands of the SPD leadership on two focal points: a clear break with Putin and his resignation from the supervisory boards of Russian energy companies.
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Bucha? No order from Putin
Almost 17 years after Putin’s phone call, Schröder’s behavior – one can recall an unusual golden portrait in the Chancellery – has largely ruined his reputation, at least in Germany. And the New York Times describes its point of view. In recent weeks, he has given the Berlin director of the American daily two interviews that offer interesting insights. “I think this war was a mistake, and I’ve always said that,” says Schröder, but he continues to avoid direct criticism from his close friend Putin, whom he once called a “flawless democrat.” A peaceful solution must now be reached as soon as possible. “I have always represented German interests. I do what I can. At least one side trusts me, “says Schröder – and probably means the Russian side.
The report states that Schröder drank a large amount of white wine during the interviews. According to the massacre in the Kiev suburb of Bucha, the 78-year-old man says: “It needs to be investigated.” However, he does not believe that the orders came from Putin, but from the lower floors.
But: Putin explicitly honors soldiers after atrocities The head of the Kremlin paid tribute to the 64th Motorized Rifle Brigade, which was stationed in Buč, for special merit, heroism and bravery, as the Kremlin announced. A total of more than 400 bodies were found in Bucha, some with their hands tied behind their backs.
For the SPD leader, Schröder is on the wrong side of history
There is talk of “disgrace” within the SPD, and for SPD leader Klingbeil, who previously worked in his polling station, Schröder is now definitely on the wrong side of history. The CDU demands that sanctions be imposed on Schröder.
Klingbeil emphasized in an ARD report in Berlin: “A party order is being pending against Gerhard Schröder. There are now a total of four structures that have tested it.” It is very important for him as party chairman that he and Saskia Esken clearly signal that “what Gerhard Schröder presents as a political opinion has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with the SPD’s position. We are clearly against Putin and him. War and honestly, in This phase of this story only needs to be sided. ”
On the other hand, Schröder attacked his critics in an interview with the New York Times. “Everyone has been there for the last 30 years. And suddenly everyone knows better, “he says, referring to the Union and the SPD and interdependencies in energy policy. He advocates maintaining relations with Moscow despite the offensive war against Ukraine. “You cannot isolate a country like Russia in the long run, either politically or economically. German industry needs the raw materials that Russia has.
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At Putin’s six-foot table
Regarding a mediation mission initiated by a Ukrainian politician in March, during which his wife looked like a Madonna praying for peace in an instagram photograph in Red Square, Schröder says that he too sat with Putin at a six-meter table. “I can tell you that Putin is interested in ending the war. But it’s not that easy. There are a few points that need to be clarified, “says Schröder – currently the current politicians probably find this attitude a little naive. Schröder also said before the war that Putin would certainly not attack.
Ukrainian MP Rustem Umerow informed him about the Ukrainian positions at a meeting in Istanbul before traveling to Moscow – contact between Schröder and himself was mediated through the Swiss publishing house Ringier. After talking to Putin, there was another meeting with Umerov, after which contact was broken. But he was ready to talk to both sides again. .
Schröder ignored the letter from the 10 presidents
The case is becoming increasingly uncomfortable for SPD chairmen Saskia Esken and Lars Klingbeil. Schröder went through an ultimatum, which was signed by eight previous presidents, Sigmar Gabriel did not sign it. The one who, in the spirit of Schröder, despite the annexation of Crimea in a grand coalition with Angela Merkel as Minister of Economy, successfully insisted on the construction of Nord Stream 2, recently visited Schröder’s demonstration visit to Hanover. The SPD leadership demanded a “speedy” response to the president’s letter in late February, in which Schröder was called upon to resign his position in a Russian state-owned company – but did not receive it two months later. . He voluntarily renounced his honorary citizenship of Hanover.
In any case, the new statements for the SPD leadership and Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) are unfortunate because the SPD’s mistakes in Russia’s policy are already being discussed – and the slowdown in heavy arms supplies with too much Putin – Consideration is connected – which Scholz dismisses as a slander.
When Schröder wants to give up his posts in Russia
Despite Putin’s attack on Ukraine and the demands of the SPD, Schröder is still chairman of the supervisory board of Russia’s state energy company Rosneft and chairman of the Nord Stream pipeline shareholders’ committee, and was to become a member of Gazprom’s supervisory board in June. . A red line for him when he wants to give up his job? When Russian President Vladimir Putin turns off the gas for Germany and the European Union. “Then I would resign,” says Schröder.
Some of his statements seem defiant – and he makes one thing very clear. Unlike Frank-Walter Steinmeier, his former chief of staff and later foreign minister and federal president, he is unwilling to admit that he has made mistakes. “I do not do mea culpa now. “It is not my thing.”