The Kremlin has confirmed the statements made by former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder in the stern interview, after which he recently met Vladimir Putin. "Schröder was actually in Moscow recently. He had a personal meeting with President Putin," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, according to the Interfax agency. According to him, the tense energy situation in Europe was also discussed. In an interview with stern and RTL/ntv, Schröder explained that he saw no reason to distance himself from Putin. The ex-chancellor has long been criticized for his closeness to the Russian president.
Peskow further said Schröder was "like all thinking and understanding people and specialists in Europe very, very concerned about the energy crisis that has flared up in Europe." The former chancellor, 78, asked Putin to explain the situation from a Russian point of view. The Kremlin boss denied any guilt.
Schröder also wanted to know whether it would be possible to put the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline into operation, according to the Kremlin. Putin replied that this was technologically possible, but that a maximum of 27.5 billion cubic meters of gas could still be pumped through the Baltic Sea pipes to Europe by the end of the year. In view of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, the German government has ruled out using Nord Stream 2. Schröder is chairman of the board of directors for the pipeline.
When asked by journalists whether Schröder was being discussed as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine in the war that has been going on for more than five months, Peskow said: "Schröder has not expressed any desire to become a mediator." Russia is quite ready for a diplomatic settlement of the "problem" - but only on Russian terms.
Peskow commented on the dispute over the non-installed gas turbine for Nord Stream 1 and denied any blame. The turbine is now in Germany, but the Russian state-owned company Gazprom, as the owner, still lacks the necessary papers, he said. He also warned against sanctioning the turbine and possibly switching it off remotely in the end. Another machine is having problems, but technicians from a Siemens subsidiary "are in no hurry to fix it," the Kremlin spokesman claimed. Russia only ever speaks of Siemens, but what is meant is the company Siemens Energy.