The German Prime Minister in 1998-2005 was criticized for his work in Russian energy companies and is considered a close friend of Russian President Vladimir. In late July, German media reported that the former chancellor was in Moscow. – I’m here on vacation for a few days. Moscow is a beautiful city – said the then politician. Schroeder also visited the Russian capital in March.
Because of his closeness to Putin and his ties to Russian companies, some of the SPD wanted Schroeder to be expelled from the party. The committee responsible for making such decisions has so far received 17 requests.
It was said from the outset that a quick exclusion from Schroeder’s party would be nearly impossible. Strong arguments must be made that the former chancellor deliberately intended to harm the SPD, or that he was doing his best to break the goals of the SPD state. This is the argument the applicants use.
The Hanover Provincial Social Democrats’ jury initially ruled that “the former chancellor did not violate the party order of the SPD with his involvement in Russian state-owned enterprises. No such violation can be proven for Schröder”. This decision can be appealed within two weeks. The former chancellor can appeal the decision to the party court and, as a last resort, to the general court. The recent removal of well-known SPD member Thelo Sarrazin from SPD circles showed that the whole procedure could take more than 10 years.
Schroeder has long been criticized for his close ties to Vladimir Putin and the Russian oil and gas industry. In the opinion of many members of the Social Democratic Party, even after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it has not sufficiently distanced itself from Russia, while the European Union is imposing more sanctions on the Russian economy in order to help Ukraine in this way.
At the same time, after media reports about his relations with Gazprom, he “announced that” he “has long ago resigned his candidacy for the Gazprom Supervisory Board”.
In April, SPD chairwoman Saskia Eskin suggested that Schroeder resign as party member over his statements about the war in Ukraine. He publicly stated that the Russian government was responsible for ending the war, but that relations with Russia should not be completely severed. In July, the former adviser also stated that he wants to maintain relations with Putin and does not believe in a military solution in Ukraine.
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