Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has repeatedly been criticized for his business relations with Russia. Federal President Steinmeier now speaks of the effects for all of Germany.

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has criticized former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (SPD) for his business relations with Russia.

“Gerhard Schröder’s commitment to Russian energy companies has left many question marks in Europe, especially with our Eastern European neighbors, also with regard to our country,” Steinmeier told the “Bild am Sonntag”. “That was not good.” Much of what Schröder initiated during his chancellorship has been pushed into the background by his behavior after leaving office. Steinmeier made it clear that this not only had consequences for Schröder personally, but for all of Germany.

Close cooperation between Steinmeier and Schröder

In the past, Steinmeier worked politically closely with his party friend Schröder – from 1999 to 2005 he was head of the chancellery during his reign. In the interview, the Federal President also distanced himself from him personally: “We have walked a path together for 15 years, and I have been walking my political path without him for 17 years. During this time, Gerhard Schröder made personal decisions that drew us apart, »said Steinmeier. He didn’t congratulate him on his birthday this year either.

Schröder has been under criticism for years

Schröder has been criticized for years for his commitment to Russian state-owned companies and his close relationship with President Vladimir Putin. After the Russian attack on Ukraine, the pressure on him continued to increase.

After the start of the Russian war of aggression, Steinmeier himself came under criticism for his Russia policy over the past two decades. Only after much hesitation did he admit that he had made mistakes, for example in his assessment of Putin.