The European Parliament has increased pressure on former European politicians who continue to work for Russian energy companies. A large majority of MEPs have spoken out in favor of EU sanctions against the former foreign minister Karen Knissl out of place. The reason is the continued activity of the minister nominated by the Freedom Party at the time for the Russian energy company Rosneft, according to a decision adopted in Brussels on Thursday.
Also the former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder (Social Democratic Party) He is punished, among other things, for his work at Rosneft at the request of the European Union Parliament. Parliament’s move is likely to increase pressure on the responsible EU Commission chief, Ursula von der Leyen, and External Affairs Commissioner, Josep Borrell, to put forward a proposal to include Kneissl and Schroeder on the EU sanctions list. If accepted then, the current assets of former senior EU politicians could be frozen.
On the Rosneft . board
Kneissl, who was nominated by the FPÖ as foreign minister in December 2017, is a member of Rosneft’s supervisory board. Her personal relationships with Putin have been known since he appeared at her 2018 wedding in Styria. Schroeder is a longtime friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the chairman of Rosneft’s board of directors. He was also one of the main minds behind Germany’s controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which he lobbied hard for in Berlin.
Former German chancellor Schroeder lost some of his special rights
The German Bundestag stripped former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of some of his special rights as Germany’s former head of government. On Thursday, the Budget Committee decided to close its office, as the German news agency learned from committee circles. The rest of the employees have to take over other tasks, as requested by the Traffic Lights Coalition, which won the majority in the committee.
However, Schroeder is still entitled to a pension and personal protection. The union wished to cancel the political pension of the Social Democratic Party. Among other things, she accused Schroeder of damaging Germany’s international reputation.
Schroeder has been heavily criticized for his contacts in Russia, his closeness to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and his positions in Russian state-owned companies. The 78-year-old was chancellor of Germany from 1998 to 2005. He then took over the pipeline company Nord Stream, Russia’s Gazprom and energy company Rosneft, among other companies.
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