Russia Monitor is a review of the most important events related to Russian internal and external security, as well as its foreign policies.
Date: 16 February 2022 Author: Grzegorz Kuczyński
Not Accidentally, Germany’s Schroeder Is Set To Join Gazprom
Gazprom has nominated former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder to join its board of directors. He already holds several posts related to the Russian energy sector: the former chancellor is chairman of Nord Stream. Schroeder, who was the head of the Social Democrat-led German government, is also a board member at Russia’s top oil producer Rosneft.
The ex-chancellor is set to be admitted to the board when it holds its annual meeting on June 30 in St.Petersburg. He will be the only new member as the remaining ten candidates are already members of the board. Schroeder is set to replace Timur Kulibayev, the son-in-law of Kazakhstan’s former long-serving president Nursultan Nazarbayev. In January, the government submitted his candidacy but he would lose after Kassym-Jomart Tokayev began to remove Nazarbayev’s family and friends from power. Kulibayev was a member of the board since 2011. What cast the shadow on the reshuffles in Gazprom’s board is two major events in the East: a palace coup in Kazakhstan and tensions running between Russia and the West whether Moscow is preparing to invade Ukraine. Schroeder is acting like the Kremlin’s lobbyist. He is known to have met with leading SPD officials to present Moscow’s narrative to them. His new post is a signal for all Western politicians: they can be nominated to prominent jobs in Russia in exchange for their Moscow-friendly attitude. This is all the more if they prove useful for the Kremlin in such important moments as now. Schroeder is still an influential figure in the SPD, from which hail Chancellor Olaf Scholz and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. The former chancellor’s trusted people work together with Manuela Schwesig (SPD), a proponent of Nord Stream 2 and the minister president of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, where the undersea Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 gas links go ashore. His predecessor, Erwin Sellering, was awarded the Order of Friendship, a Russian state decoration. He now chairs two NGOs that got the financing from the company in charge of Nord Stream 2.
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