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UKRAINE

German Chancellor defends Ukraine policies

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Sunday defended his decisions on Ukraine, rejecting criticisms that he has been acting too slowly while also batting off calls to halt weapons deliveries to Kyiv.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks at the start of the cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin on April 27th, 2022.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks at the start of the cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin on April 27th, 2022. Photo by Michael Kappeler / POOL / AFP

“I make my decisions quickly and in coordination with our allies,” he told Bild on Sunday. “I am suspicious of hasty action and Germany going it alone.”

Scholz has come under fire over the last weeks for not taking rapid action or doing enough to provide desperately sought armaments to Ukraine.

The German parliament on Thursday passed a motion urging his government to accelerate the deliveries of heavy weapons to Kyiv.

While pressed by some to step up the pace on weapons deliveries, Scholz was at the same time facing pressure from other critics who want Germany to stop boosting Ukraine militarily.

Twenty-eight prominent German writers, philosophers and singers urged in an open letter published on Friday for Scholz to stop sending heavy arms to Ukraine.

They warned that the action risked escalating the conflict into a nuclear war and could also cost more Ukrainian lives.

But Scholz, speaking at a May Day rally on Sunday, rejected the call as from another time.

“I respect every pacifism and attitude,” he said. “But it must seem cynical to Ukraine’s citizens when they are told to defend themselves against Putin’s aggression without weapons. That is out of date,” he added.

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Member comments

  1. I’d say Germany is managing this crisis delicately and correct, you want to approach this situation in a way that shows Germany is not provoking Russia while at the same time defending Ukraine.

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GERHARD SCRHÖDER

German ex-Chancellor Schröder leaves Rosneft board

Former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder will leave the board of directors of Russian oil giant Rosneft, the company said on Friday, following public pressure.

German ex-Chancellor Schröder leaves Rosneft board

Rosneft said that Schröder and Nord Stream 2 CEO Matthias Warnig informed the company that it was “impossible to extend their powers on the board of directors” a day after Germany stripped Schröder of official perks over ties with Russia.

Rosneft praised their “strategic vision” and “significant contribution to the international business of the company”.

“Their role in the implementation of large-scale infrastructure projects in Russia and Germany, aimed at increasing the efficiency of the Germany economy and its industry and the well-being of its citizens, is invaluable,” Rosneft added.

READ ALSO: Germany strips Schröder of official perks over links to Russia

Schröder, who was Germany’s leader from 1998 to 2005, had been slammed for refusing to quit his posts with Russian energy giants Rosneft and Gazprom following Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The German Bundestag’s decision to strip Schröder of an office and paid staff on Thursday came after a long effort to get him to turn his back on President Vladimir Putin. 

“The coalition parliamentary groups have drawn consequences from the behaviour of former chancellor and lobbyist Gerhard Schröder in view of the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” the parliament decided.

“The office of the former chancellor shall be suspended,” it said, noting that Schröder “no longer upholds the continuing obligations of his office”.

The cost of Schröder’s office and employees was estimated to cost taxpayers around €400,000 per year. 

EU lawmakers separately called in a non-binding resolution on the bloc to slap sanctions on Schröder and other Europeans who refuse to give up lucrative board seats at Russian companies.

Schröder, 78, is due to join the supervisory board of gas giant Gazprom in June.

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