Berlin, Aug 3 (EFE).- Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder said Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin wants a “negotiated solution” to the war in Ukraine and added that activating the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project was necessary to ease the energy crisis.
“The good news is that the Kremlin wants a negotiated solution,” the politician told German magazine Stern.
The former chancellor, who was in office from 1998 to 2005, described the agreement to unblock Ukraine grain exports as “successful” and said that following a meeting with Putin in Moscow last week, he thought it could pave the way for a wider ceasefire.
The former Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader said Germany had a “special responsibility” to broker a solution and criticized the current government of not doing enough.
Schröder, who came under fire in May over his ties to Russian state-owned energy firms, also said that the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea gas pipeline project, which was set to ramp up inflows of Russian gas to Germany and was frozen as a result of the war, should be put into operation to solve current energy supply snags.
The move to halt the energy project, which was set to double gas flows from Russia to Germany, was actioned by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in February when Russia invaded Ukraine.
The SPD has been very critical of Schröder over his close ties to Putin which he defends he has no reason to break.
The construction of the first Nord Stream gas pipeline emerged under a deal that was struck between Putin and Schröder just a few months before the German politician left politics to later go on and hold various posts on the boards of state-owned Russian energy firms.
Schröder recently stepped down from the board of Rosneft, a Russian oil company, amid mounting pressure from the SPD and the European Union.
The socialist party is currently examining 17 applications filed by local party groups to expel the former chancellor from the party.
The SPD is expected to reach a decision next week.EFE