Conflicts: Gauck criticizes former Chancellor Schröder because of Russia

Conflicts: Gauck criticizes former Chancellor Schröder because of Russia

The former Federal President called the close relationship between Gerhard Schröder and Kremlin boss Vladimir Putin – even after the Russian attack on Ukraine – “intolerable” and “unacceptable”.

Former Federal President Joachim Gauck has sharply criticized former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and his connections to Russia. “When I think of Gerhard Schröder’s character, it makes me sad,” Gauck told the “Tagesspiegel”. “It’s just unbearable that Gerhard Schröder allows himself to be put into service by Russia in this way.”

For him it was “unacceptable how Schröder, as ex-Chancellor, subordinated his reputation and the reputation of Germany to his private interests”. At the same time, Gauck emphasized that the SPD politician had “made important decisions that required courage” during his term in office.

Former chancellor massively criticized

Schröder was Chancellor from 1998 to 2005. After his tenure, he worked for Russian energy companies for many years and is considered a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin. After the Russian attack on Ukraine, Schröder came under massive pressure because of his connections to Russia.

He traveled to Moscow in March and July 2022 for talks with Putin. He attested to the Kremlin’s willingness to negotiate a solution and insisted that he did not want to give up his opportunities to talk to Putin. In an interview with the “New York Times” in April last year, he emphasized that he had always represented German interests.

Isolated with social democrats

Politically, the SPD leadership declared Schröder months ago to be isolated. In March, however, the arbitration commission of the SPD district in Hanover rejected applications from various SPD branches for party sanctions against him. A decision by the Federal Arbitration Commission as to whether the appeal of two local associations will be allowed is still pending.

With regard to Putin and Russia, Gauck said that “we are dealing with an offended leader and an offended nation, comparable to Germany after the First World War”. That’s why Putin’s popularity ratings soared after he occupied the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in 2014. “Regaining national greatness is a very effective political method, because that’s when the supporters flock to a leader. Putin has experienced that violence is useful to him, war is useful to him.”

Source: Stern

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