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Former German chancellor loses privileges for maintaining long-standing ties with Russia

Germany’s three ruling parties plan to withdraw the office and staff of former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, after he maintained and protected longtime ties with Russia despite the war in Ukraine.

Schroeder’s Social Democrats said on May 18 that MPs on the parliamentary budget committee had agreed to attach some of the former leader’s privileges. Virtue with actual obligations, rather than as a former prime minister, according to AP.

They plan to introduce the proposal in parliament on May 19.

Grandfather Putin (centre), then the prime minister of Russia, with Mr. Schroeder (right of Mr. Putin) in 2011

Screenshot The new york times

Mr. Schroeder has become increasingly isolated in recent months from working for Russian state-controlled energy companies.

The 78-year-old former prime minister is the chairman of the supervisory board of the energy group Rosneft, as well as participating in the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline projects.

Earlier this year, the entire staff at Mr Schroeder’s office quit and he faced a new wave of anger from former political allies following a newspaper article. The New York Times in April. The US newspaper quoted him as saying that the massacre of civilians in Bucha “must be investigated” but he did not think the order came from Russian President Vladimir Putin, a longtime friend.

“I have always served the interests of the German people,” Mr Schroeder told the newspaper. “I do what I can. At least one side trusts me.”

According to the article, Mr. Schroeder earns nearly $1 million a year from the Russian energy companies he works for.

Germany says it will not let Russia “blackmail” with energy, supports sanctions

Mr. Schroeder did not accept to give up these positions, despite calls from many political factions, especially from the German chancellor. Olaf Scholz. Mr. Scholz, also a member of the Social Democrats, worked closely with Mr. Schroeder when he was prime minister.

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