3 August, 03:19 PM

Putin is ‘ready for talks’ with Ukraine, former German chancellor says

Following a trip to Moscow and a meeting with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder said that Putin is looking to negotiate with Ukraine, German news outlet Stern reported on Aug. 3.

“The good news is that the Kremlin wants a negotiated settlement,” said Schroder.

“A diplomatic approach to resolving the conflict was already around – for example at the Istanbul (talks) back in March.”

The former German chancellor lauded the recent grain exports agreement between Ukraine and Russia, adding that perhaps it could eventually be “expanded to include a ceasefire.”

While he called the war a mistake on Russia’s part, Schroder said it’s “absurd” to think that Kyiv could reclaim Russia-annexed Crimea by military means.

“Besides the (Crimean) Tatar (ethnic) minority, the region is Russian; former Soviet Leader Nikita Khrushchev transferred it to Ukraine, which was then part of the Soviet Union,” Schroder opined.

Schroder traveled to “lovely” Moscow for “a vacation” last week. He resigned from Rosneft’s board of directors in May.

Schroder maintains his sympathies towards Russia, and said he has no plans to distance himself from Putin, whom he considers “a friend.”

The German government has cut off state funding of Schroder and his staff, citing his persistent efforts to lobby Russian interests.

The European Parliament voted for a resolution urging the EU to sanction Schroder on May 19.

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