Former German Chancellor Schröder says the West should negotiate with Putin

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Former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder says he still thinks he was friendly with the Russian president Vladimir Putin can help end the war in Ukraine.

“We have worked together wisely for many years. Maybe this will help find a solution to the problem, I don’t see another way,” said Schröder in an interview with dpa.

Schröder has been in a relationship with Putin from 1998 to 2005 and continues to work for many Russian companies for the Nord Stream pipeline across the Baltic Sea. Although he described Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a “terrible mistake,” he did not reject Putin.

The leadership of his Social Democratic Party has excluded him for these reasons, but the process of expelling him has failed.

When asked why he maintains his friendship with the Russian president despite thousands of deaths and Russian crimes in the Ukraine war, Schröder replied, “It’s true that this is different.”

At first it seemed as if this personal relationship would help solve a very difficult political problem. “And that’s why I think it would be very wrong to forget all the good things that have happened between us politically in the past. This is not my style and I don’t do that anymore,” he said.

Schröder was talking about his role as a mediator in March 2022 shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, when Schröder said he first met with Ukrainian parliamentarian and current defense minister Rustem Umerov in Istanbul and went to Moscow for talks with Putin. However, the project failed.

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