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"It is about my life, and I decide"

Thursday, August 31st, 2017 | World News

Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (SPD) wants to move to the Russian oil company Rosneft, despite harsh criticism. In an election campaign, he reproached himself against accusations of being instrumentalized by the Kremlin and warned of a "demonization" of Russia.

"I will do that," Schröder defended his decision in Rotenburg, Lower Saxony, on the Wümme. "It is about my life, and that is what I determine – and not the German press." He wanted to help secure the energy security of Germany and Europe, the old chancellor added.

Whether he should take over as chairman of the supervisory board at Rosneft, as Russian media reported, Schröder initially left open. The Social Democrat explained to his motives that it was not reasonable to isolate Russia for economic and political reasons. "The demonization of Russia does not help anyone."

Schröder: "I am not usable"
Rosneft was by no means "the extended arm of the Russian government," said Schröder. British Petroleum (BP), Qatar or Glencore, for example, are also involved in the world's largest oil company. The board of nine members of the Supervisory Board was not Russian-dominated.

When asked whether he was not afraid to be used by Russian President Vladimir Putin as a sign for Rosneft, Schröder replied, "I am not usable." He also did not have the impression that Putin intended this with him, Schröder said.

 Against Rosneft, EU sanctions were imposed because of the Russian annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea. SPD Chancellor candidate Martin Schulz had distanced himself from Schröder's plans.

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