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Ukraine news from Germany: Schröder protects Putin in Butscha massacre

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Created: 24.04.2022, 13:31

Author: Cindy Boden, Christoph Gschoßmann


Saskia Esken has met with Ukrainian Ambassador Andrei Melnyk. Former Chancellor Schröder would resign if Russia stopped the gas. News.

  • Ukrainian conflict: Saskia Esken has met with Ukrainian Ambassador Andrei Melnyk.
  • Gerhard Schröder would resign if Russian gas was banned, but he is still willing to act.
  • CDU chief Merz is asking Chancellor Scholz for a government statement.
  • This information panel on Germany’s reactions to the war in Ukraine is continuously updated.

Updated April 24, 12:24 PM: New FDP Secretary General Bijan Djir-Sarai condemned Russia’s war on aggression in Ukraine as a “disgrace to our time.” According to an AFP report from the current two-day party conference, the DP admitted that political priorities in Germany had changed with the war in Ukraine.

The goal of “modernization and transformation of society and economy” set by the coalition of traffic lights is still relevant. “The correctness of the goals of the coalition agreement has not changed,” Djir-Sarai said. “What has changed is some of the framework conditions.”

Reaction in Germany: Former Chancellor Schröder doubts Putin’s Butsch order

Updated April 24, 7:05: The first interview with former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (SPD) since the beginning of the Ukrainian war has caused a stir. Not only did he offer himself again as an intermediary (update from April 23, 18:59), he talked about the conditions of resignation from the positions of energy companies (update from April 23, 18:08) – but also about the energy embargo and the abomination of Buch.

Schröder does not believe that massive economic sanctions against Russia are sustainable in the long run. A country like Russia cannot be “isolated” in the long run, either politically or economically, he told the New York Times. German industry needs raw materials from Russia, not only oil and gas, but also rare earths. These metals are used in many high-tech products.

Germany at war in Ukraine: former Chancellor Schröder against energy embargo

In an interview with the American newspaper, he opposed the German energy embargo on Russia. He also expressed expectations that relations with Moscow will be resumed after the end of the Ukrainian war. Peace and prosperity in Germany and Europe will always depend on dialogue with Russia, he said.

Schröder distanced himself from the Russian invasion of Ukraine: This war was a “mistake,” he always said. He said the killing of dozens of Ukrainian civilians in Bucha, of which Russian soldiers are accused, must be “investigated”. However, he does not think that the relevant instructions came from Putin.

The then Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (SPD, r) in 2005 with Russian President Vladimir Putin. © Bernd Settnik / dpa

Esken talks to Melnyk – “Word choice and excessive content”

Update, 21:12: SPD Chairwoman Saskia Esken met with Ukrainian Ambassador Andrei Melnyk and spoke about this for Der Spiegel. Referring to the Social Democrats, Melnyk speaks of a “web of contacts with Russia” or “Putin-friendly policies” that “provoked” the war.

Esken added: “These are serious accusations that are grossly exaggerated in terms of choice of words and content. I understand very well that many of them feel offended. Mr Melnyk is fighting for his country, but he is wrong in his accusations. Only Vladimir Putin is responsible for this war.

Esken spoke of “painful” criticism. This is “unfair, especially if it is only directed against the SPD. During the annexation of the Crimea in 2014, the chancellor was Angela Merkel. She and her federal government should have reacted more harshly to the events of the day. Past governments, no matter which party they supported, trusted a peace order in which states abide by international treaties – but Putin has long since abandoned the idea.

She also commented on Gerhard Schröder: “Schröder has been a businessman for many years, not a senior statesman. He earns his money by working for Russian state-owned companies. “Esken continues:” We have clearly asked Gerhard Schröder to resign from his corporate mandates. This would be necessary to save the reputation of the former and once successful chancellor. Unfortunately, he did not follow this advice. “

Germany at war in Ukraine: Schröder is still ready to negotiate with Russia

Updated April 23, 18:59: Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has again agreed to be a mediator in the war in Ukraine. “I have always represented German interests. I do what I can. At least one party trusts me, “the former SPD leader and current lobbyist for Russian energy companies told the New York Times. A peaceful solution must now be reached as soon as possible. “I think this war was a mistake and I always said it.”

Schröder traveled to Moscow in March to speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), he was not informed of the trip. Schröder, 78, did not comment on the details of the interview with Putin and said so much: “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. “

The New York Times says he spoke to the former chancellor twice in his hometown of Hanover. This is the first time since the beginning of the Ukrainian war that a former chancellor who has been Putin’s longtime friend spoke in an interview.

War in Ukraine: Schröder would “resign” if Russia stopped the gas

Update of 23 April 18:08: Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder can only imagine resigning from his post for Russian energy companies in one case: if Russian President Vladimir Putin shuts off gas for Germany and the European Union. In an interview with the New York Times published on Saturday, he says that even if such a scenario is not expected: “It will not happen.” But if so, “then I would resign,” he adds, without being clear from which post.

Schröder is the head of the supervisory board of Russian state energy giant Rosneft and most recently worked for the pipelines Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2. He is heavily criticized in Germany for failing to split his posts despite the Russian attack on Ukraine. Four SPD associations therefore requested a party exclusion proceeding against Schröder.

Russian energy giant Gazprom also nominated Schröder for the position of supervisory board in early February – shortly before the Russian attack on Ukraine. The annual general meeting is scheduled for June 30. According to the New York Times, Schröder left open in the interview whether he would accept the nomination.

War in Ukraine: Lindner strengthens Scholz’s back

Updated April 23 16:16: In the debate on arms supplies to Ukraine, FDP Chairman Christian Lindner supported Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and sharply criticized the CDU / CSU opposition. “The Chancellor trusts the FDP and their parliamentary groups in the German Bundestag,” Lindner told a federal party conference in Berlin on Saturday. Party MP Wolfgang Kubicki also attacked the SPD, accusing it of international criticism of Germany’s hesitant stance. The FDP leadership also advocated a coronation mitigation course, for which the Liberals had to endure great criticism.

Lindner was digitally connected from Washington, where he is quarantined due to a coronavirus infection. According to the Minister of Finance, the symptoms are only mild. His speech, which lasted about 40 minutes, was repeatedly interrupted by broadcast outages. Lindner defended Scholz, but also stressed: “Ukraine needs military assistance and heavy weapons.”

Germany and the war in Ukraine: Wüst accuses Scholz of “procrastination”.

Updated April 23 14:35: North Rhine-Westphalia Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst (CDU) accused Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) of “hesitating” sanctions against Russia and arms supplies to Ukraine. “In this situation, you can only act in close coordination with our Western allies,” the CDU’s top candidate said at the start of the NRW-CDU’s central state election campaign. But the government is doing the opposite. The traffic light government has always been hesitant about the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, sanctions against Moscow and military support to Ukraine.

“Germany has never been as apathetic and isolated in Europe as it is today,” Wüst said, adding: “The procrastination of the SPD chancellor is a terrible mistake.” Everyone sees that the SPD clearly has a “problem with Putin,” he said. Wüst also with a view to the Prime Minister of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Manuel Schwesig (SPD). It is under great pressure due to the construction of the Baltic gas pipeline. Critics accuse Schwesig of being pro-Russian in the long run. The SPD’s problem with Russia lingered until …