Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has again arrived in Moscow. “I have a few days off. Moscow is a beautiful city,” he told German n-tv Dirk Emmerihu on Monday (July 25). Asked about the proximity of the headquarters of the Russian oil company “Rosneft”, Schröder replied with astonishment: “Really? Oh, indeed, you are right”. In May, Schröder decided to resign from his position at Rosneft and also announced that he would not accept an offer to join the board of energy company Gazprom.

Schröder’s colleague and Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Hubertus Heil, once again distanced himself from the former leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). “I haven’t understood such behavior for a long time, especially these days,” he said in an interview with RTL and n-tv. In his own words, Schröder’s actions have nothing to do with the policy of the German government or the social democratic parties. “The Office of the Federal Chancellor was not and is not involved in the organization of Gerhard Schröder’s trip to Moscow,” Heil said, responding to a question from RTL and n-tv.

Gerhard Schröder, who led the government of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1998 to 2005, has been criticized for many years for his work in Russian state companies and his friendship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Against the background of the war of aggression unleashed by Russia in Ukraine, the pressure on him has increased. True, on the first day of the war, the former head of the Federal Republic of Germany condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “War and related suffering must end as soon as possible. This is the responsibility of the Russian government,” Schroeder wrote on LinkedIn.

However, as the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung recently reported, Schröder wants to maintain contact with Putin, even despite the Russian invasion of Ukraine. According to media reports, Schröder said he did not believe in resolving the conflict in Ukraine with weapons and was puzzled about supplying arms to that country.

At the end of May, Schröder how the former chancellor was deprived of certain privileges in Germany. For example, the Bundestag’s budget committee decided to close its office, which spent more than 400,000 euros on personnel costs in 2021 alone. However, the 78-year-old politician is still entitled to personal protection and a pension.

The SPD is currently discussing the possible exclusion of Schröder from the parties. A decision on this is expected within the next three weeks.

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