Dhe federal government has not been informed about an alleged visit by former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (SPD) to Moscow to mediate in the war in Ukraine. Such talks have not been coordinated with Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and his government, government circles said on Thursday. The news portal “Politico” had previously reported that Schröder was in Moscow and wanted to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin there as part of mediation efforts to end the Ukraine war.
There was no official confirmation for the trip. “Politico” referred to “sources familiar with the matter.” Schröder’s visit to Moscow follows talks in Istanbul with Ukrainian politicians who are members of the delegation for the peace talks with Russia. “Ukraine wanted to see if Schröder could build a bridge for dialogue with Putin,” said a source quoted by the portal.
Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, said last week that he could imagine Schröder trying to mediate. “He is one of the few here in Germany who can still have a direct line to Mr. Putin,” said the diplomat of the newspaper “Bild”. “There is no one who has something like this in Germany and the other European countries. I could try it.” Since Russia’s attack on Ukraine on February 24, Russian and Ukrainian negotiators have already spoken three times in Belarus and tried to reach an agreement. unsuccessfully.
According to “Politico”, Schröder was informed by CEO Marc Walder of the request from the Swiss media company Ringier of Ukraine to act as mediator. Schröder had worked for the company as a consultant. Schröder and his wife then flew to Istanbul on Monday, where he is said to have met the Ukrainian delegation for peace talks with Russia. The delegation will be headed by Ukrainian politician Rustem Umerov. Umerov has not yet commented on this. According to “Politico”, Volodymyr Zelenskyj wants to use Schröder’s relationship with Putin to at least negotiate a ceasefire. In addition, the Ukrainians are said to have mentioned several points to Schröder that they are willing to negotiate. These include Ukraine’s NATO targets, the state of Crimea and the future of the Donbass region, which Russia recognized as a “people’s republic” shortly before the invasion. On Wednesday, a Russian plane was supposed to pick up Schroeder from Istanbul for the talks.
SPD also not informed about the alleged trip
Schröder has apparently had a friendly relationship with Putin since his chancellorship between 1998 and 2005. The Social Democrat has been under pressure for weeks because he is holding on to his posts at Russian state and semi-state energy companies despite Moscow’s actions against Ukraine. After the start of the war of aggression against Ukraine, the SPD leadership asked him to resign from these mandates, which Schröder has so far ignored.
The SPD was not informed in advance about the alleged trip, according to party circles. Schröder’s wife, Soyeon Schröder-Kim, defended her husband in a letter to SPD members posted on Instagram last week. She also referred to the Ukrainian ambassador’s “request” for her husband to mediate.
“You can be sure that anything my husband can do to help end the war, he will,” she wrote. This was “regardless of ultimatums from the SPD or other organizations” to her husband.