German government distances itself from Schröder after Putin embrace
The German government has distanced itself from former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder after he was caught on camera embracing Russian President Vladimir Putin. This comes at a time of heightened tensions over Ukraine.
The above photo was reportedly taken as President Putin arrived at Yusupov palace, his official residence in Saint Petersburg, on Monday night, where former Chancellor Schröder was waiting for him. The two men, who are known to be close friends, smiled and embraced before entering the building for what is reported to have been a party to belatedly celebrate Schröder’s birthday, who turned 70 on April 7.
Schröder, who served as chancellor between 1998 and 2005, is the head of the shareholders’ committee of Nord Stream AG, the company that operates the Nord Stream pipeline that delivers Russian gas to Germany via the Baltic sea. Russia’s gas giant Gazprom owns a majority stake in Nord Stream AG.
Berlin distances itself
On Tuesday, the Reuters news agency quoted an unnamed senior official in Berlin who said the government had distanced itself from the former chancellor.
“He does not represent the German government,” the official said. “It should be clear to everyone that Mr. Schröder left active politics some time ago.”
There was no immediate comment from Schröder’s office.
Source: dw.de/Deutsche Welle
Of course Schröder can celebrate his birthday wherever and with whom he wants, even with a dictator and terrorist commander like Vladmir Putin. But from a former acting chancellor of one of the most important countries in EU much more care can be expected. At the same time, while Schröder and Putin eat caviar and drink champagne, Putin’s Eastern Ukrainian separatists hold OSCE-staff as hostages. The German foreign minister Steinmeier, who is member of the same political party of Schröder (Social Democrats, SPD) tries to de-escalate tension in Ukraine after Russia’s massive attacks on Ukrainian democracy, SChröder makes such an counterproductive step. However, acting Chancellor Merkel does not comment on it, as always. She never takes a clear position.
The civilized world must feel ashamed of Mr. Schröder.
One more remark on Mr. Schröder: During his government the US started the second war against Iraq. Schröder officially opposed this war and pretended Germany did not take part in it. Later it was discovered that Germany played an important role in this war against the Iraqi people, following Schröder’s decision.