Gerhard Schröder stripped of perks for failing to resign from Rosneft

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Former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder is facing pressure from his own party, as well as from the European Union, to step down from his board with Russian state energy giant Rosneft.

On Thursday, Schröder was stripped of his office and staff, according to spokesman for the Green Party of Germany. The announcement came a day after representatives from Germany’s three political parties said in a declare that the parliamentary budget committee has introduced a new regulation linking the benefits enjoyed by former prime ministers whether or not they have any official duties.

In the same week, a draft resolution brought by the four largest parties in the European Parliament, the EU’s legislative body, “strongly demanded” Schröder’s resignation from Rosneft. It explicitly asks the former German leader to follow in the footsteps of several other European politicians who have left Russian companies.

Former chancellor and friend of Putin at the center of Germany’s Russia struggle

Markus Ferber, one of the drafters of the resolution and a centre-right member of the European Parliament, said Reuters that holding a senior position at a large state-controlled company means that Schröder is “in fact working closely with Russia”.

His proposal also prevents Schröder from taking a board position at Gazprom, another important Russian energy company, he added. Ferber also support add Schröder to the EU sanctions list and freeze the assets of the former German leader

Schröder could not be immediately reached for comment.

The 77-year-old former chancellor has embodied Germany’s deep energy relationship with Russia – a relationship Berlin is now trying to narrow. Schröder was instrumental in facilitating Nord Stream 2 . deal, a natural gas pipeline worth $11 billion and connecting Russian fields directly to Germany. It was a sticking point for Berlin until the incumbent chancellor, Olaf Scholz, halted project certification two days before the war.

In March, Scholz, who was in the same group as Schröder, told local media that severing ties with Russian companies was the right move. Scholz says that Schröder’s obligations to Germany do not end when he leaves office.

Public anger directed at the former prime minister has grown since February 24, the day Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the start of his invasion. Schröder chose not to distance himself from the Kremlin leader even as the Russian military faced international condemnation for brutality pledge against Ukrainian civilians.

In a recent interview With the New York Times, Schröder called Putin’s war a mistake and said the killing of Ukrainian civilians in Bucha must be investigated. But he refused to deny his friendship with Putin and said that the bloodshed carried out in Bucha was not at the behest of the Russian leader.

Loveday Morris in Berlin contributed to this report.

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