Former Chancellor in Stern: "Schröder? A bitter example of someone who has clearly outlived himself politically"

Despite the Russian war against Ukraine, former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder sees no reason to distance himself from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Former Chancellor in Stern: "Schröder? A bitter example of someone who has clearly outlived himself politically"

Despite the Russian war against Ukraine, former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder sees no reason to distance himself from Russian President Vladimir Putin. "I have repeatedly condemned the war, you know that. But would a personal distancing from Vladimir Putin really do anyone any good?" SPD member Schröder asked Stern and the RTL/ntv broadcaster in a major interview.

In it, Schröder advocates putting the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline, which has been put on hold, into operation. The 78-year-old also believes that Germany is not doing enough to end the war.

Schröder was in Moscow last week, where he also met Putin, as he said in the interview. "The good news is that the Kremlin wants a negotiated solution," Schröder concludes. "I consider this war to be a mistake by the Russian government," the former chancellor made clear at the same time. He sees a special responsibility in Germany and France to help bring the war to an end. "There's not enough happening at the moment, that's my impression, because one thing is clear: it won't work without talks."

When asked about distancing himself from Putin, Schröder replied: "Do I have to jump over every stick that's held out to me? I'm not like that. I've made decisions, and I stand by them, and I made it clear: maybe I can do it again be useful. So why should I apologize," added Schröder, pointing out that he had received approval from Germany.

In the gas crisis, Schröder recommends the commissioning of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The former Chancellor is President of the Board of Directors there. That would be the "simplest solution" for possible gas bottlenecks. "It's finished. When things get really tight, there is this pipeline, and with both Nord Stream pipelines there would be no supply problem for German industry and German households," said Schröder.

This is how the newspapers in Germany comment on the Schröder interview from Stern and RTL/ntv:

"Münchner Merkur": "Retired Chancellor Gerhard Schröder is a political impostor: a flawless agent of Putin, who poses as an honest broker between the West and the dictator in the Kremlin. On his behalf, Schröder drives a wedge into society, by turning Germans, who are deeply unsettled by war and inflation, against their own government and fooling the people into believing that Russia is willing to negotiate. But there is none. What Putin really wants has been revealed by his henchmen with disarming frankness: Russia's borders, that's what the Kremlin Hate preacher Dmitri Medvedev Georgia and Kazakhstan, 'end nowhere' Schröder is joining a wolf regime's propaganda war against the country he once promised as chancellor to avert harm This is unprecedented If the SPD ever had a reason to expel a member, then now. But the SPD shouldn't let it take too long. Otherwise d he long shadow of her ex-chancellor on her."

"Frankfurter Rundschau": "Gerhard Schröder spoke to his friend, the warlord Vladimir Putin. The good news is that the Kremlin wants a negotiated solution for Ukraine, claims the SPD man. The bad news is: the former German chancellor is doing has become Putin's puppet. Putin attacked his neighboring country and destroyed it in order to conquer it completely. Schröder takes it for granted that he annexed Crimea back in 2014. Oh, and the Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 2, which has been put on hold, would be his according to him, yes, the solution for possible gas bottlenecks. You just have to put it into operation, says Schröder, who is President of the Board of Directors there. No, you just have to pipe gas through Nord Stream 1, which Russia only does 20 percent with the flimsy argument that "A turbine is missing. But it's ready for delivery at Siemens in Mühlheim an der Ruhr. The only right solution would be for Putin to end his war. Unconditionally. Schröder should campaign for that Zen."

"Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung": "The day is not long enough to accommodate all the trouble that the former chancellor is causing with his male-dominated friendship with Russia's President Putin. Especially when you think of the pecuniary aspects: the privateer Gerhard Schröder is earning money with his Gazprom job on a project that he made politically possible in the first place as Chancellor. That is outrageous. And far below the dignity of the office. That in turn the SPD has only been bothered by this shameless self-service model since Schröder's 'friend' Putin has instigated a brutal war on the European continent that violates international law is astonishing."

"Ludwigsburger Kreiszeitung": "Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder is making headlines again: After his visit to Moscow last week, the 78-year-old believes that a negotiated solution with Vladimir Putin in the Ukraine war is possible. And Schröder sees the use of the recently completed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline as the ' simplest solution' for Germany's and Europe's need for gas supplies in the coming winter. Schröder is fueling people's hopes, and that is where the real danger lies. Because the problems cannot be solved that easily. Putin is a perfidious warlord and unscrupulous dictator. At best, let him Putin actually say something to himself about Schröder, in the worst case - and that is more likely - he will be exploited by Putin."

"Nordbayerischer Kurier": "The 'Basta-Gerd' just can't get out of his skin. Schröder is finally destroying his image with his lack of understanding. That's tragic. Although he was always a man with a difficult character, he also had it during his tenure Merits - such as the courageous decision that Germany did not take part in the Iraq war."

"Rhein-Zeitung": "It is difficult to assess what influence Schröder actually has on Putin. Whether he can really make a helpful contribution, as he himself claims, is in any case less likely than the opposite reading: Putin uses Schröder for his own propaganda purposes. Is If so, that would be another low point, which would further reduce Schröder's already battered reputation. However, a party exclusion procedure is likely to fail due to the excessive legal hurdles. So there is only one helpful tip from Schröder: Everything must continue to be tried, diplomatically with Putin to come to an agreement."

"Schwäbische Zeitung": "It's easy to be outraged by former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. The SPD politician persistently refuses to publicly distance himself from Russian President Vladimir Putin. Schröder does little about it, not like 'Putin's errand boy' The truth is that he is apparently the only one in his party who still has access to the Russian president.Instead of demanding that Schröder distance himself from Putin, Russia's opponents should consider how to use his contacts in Moscow for theirs "You can't always choose your negotiators. But when Schröder announces the Kremlin's alleged willingness to negotiate as 'good news', he takes the perspective of the Russian aggressor. But it's not up to Moscow, not even to Western supporters of the Ukraine to announce whether the sovereign country is ready for negotiations. That must be decided by the government in Kyiv."

"Südkurier": "So Germany should negotiate. That's Gerhard Schröder's conclusion, which he drew from his visit to Russia and explained in detail in an interview. Because basically, as the subtext reads, the West is in Ukraine "The misery is your own fault. It's remarkable how wrong the SPD man is with that. And how undignified this accusation is. Because as former chancellor, Schröder always has to show a certain attitude that has to go beyond his own positions. That's part of it "To name the unforgivable as such and to take upright action against it. Schröder does not do that. Instead, he presents himself as an unrecognized mediator between a misunderstood Russia and a misunderstood Europe. He distorts world events and radios Russian propaganda not just once, but as a infomercial to Germany . Schröder? A bitter example of someone who has clearly outlived himself politically."

"Die Glocke": "Then why isn't Putin negotiating? Why doesn't he just have more gas pumped through the existing pipelines and the long-repaired turbine reinstalled? Does Schröder seriously expect the government in Kyiv to agree to the cession of territory? What does he think of Putin's confusion Sayings brand 'liberation of Ukrainians from a fascist regime', with which it justifies the invasion? One would like answers to these questions from the former chancellor. Instead, he refuses to distance himself from the Kremlin ruler - while this is for people with a democratic, peaceful attitude is self-evident. The statement that the annexation of Crimea is unavoidable is downright outrageous. That would mean giving Putin and other aggressors carte blanche to claim the same after military conquests. Motto: Once we have established ourselves somewhere for a few years, the rest of the world will recognize it as our territory."

"Märkische Oderzeitung": "But as shabby as Schröder's behavior seems to many contemporaries, the truth is that he is obviously the only one who still has access to the Russian President. This male friendship seems to be stable enough to survive the current crisis. Instead To demand von Schröder to distance himself from Putin, Russia's opponents should consider how they can use his contacts to Moscow.You can't always pick and choose negotiators: grain exports from Ukraine were also brokered by a government with which Germany obviously has a problem, as Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock's visit to Turkey showed."

"Berliner Morgenpost": "In Germany, Gerhard Schröder has become a non-person. Abroad, Schröder is hardly noticed, a 'has been'. It is no longer relevant whether he considers negotiations necessary and the ideal mediator, whether he Vladimir Putin wants to keep warm or not, whether he is for or against the pipeline Nord Stream 2. What has survived over time is just his craving for recognition, but please: who in politics wanted to throw the first stone? Schröder is the peacemaker only second choice. He lacks two virtues as a mediator: impartiality and discretion. The fact that he has to give an interview for the message that the Kremlin boss wants to negotiate shows that he is a voice from the off. When Schröder calls, apparently many do not answer. Does Putin want to talk? The assessment makes you sit up and take notice, especially after the agreement on grain exports. Putin should be tested. It should be clear that the war will not end militarily, but only through negotiations will go and that Europeans should leave no stone unturned to prevent a deranged regime on their doorstep. Involving Russia remains a foreign policy priority - even if Schröder formulates it."

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