Former German Chancellor and long-time friend of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, Gerhard Schröder, has resigned as chairman of the board of Russia’s oil giant Rosneft, the company said in a press release on May 20.
According to the message, Schröder said he “can no longer continue in his duties on the board of directors” at Rosneft.
Matthias Warnig, the managing director of Nord Stream-2 natural gas pipeline, also resigned from Rosneft, citing similar reasons.
Schröder chaired Rosneft’s board of directors since 2007.
In an interview with The New York Times on April 23, Schröder said he would resign from Rosneft only if Russia halts energy exports to Europe.
He added that “a long-term isolation of a country like Russia is economically and politically impossible.”
“When this war (against Ukraine) is over, we will have to resume our relationship with Russia; that’s what we always do,” said the former chancellor.
Schröder said he doesn’t intend to distance himself from Putin, and has no reservations about his stance on Russia.
On May 19, the German parliament stripped Schröder of some benefits that are ordinarily bestowed on former chancellors. In particular, he was left without an office at the Bundestag and his state-funded staff of assistants.
That same day, members of the European Parliament passed a non-binding resolution to sanction Schröder if he did not step down from Rosneft.