Gerhard Schröder «¿De verdad serviría de algo distanciarme en lo personal de Putin

Schröder está de excelente humor, solo tiene un problema: ¿qué puede ofrecernos para cenar? ¿Sashimi quizá? Al final resultará que el restaurante japonés preferido de Schröder está cerrado, pero unas pizzas son una buena opción. El personal de seguridad se encarga de pedirlas.

En mayo, el Parlamento alemán le retiró algunos de sus privilegios como excanciller, como los gastos de su oficina, 419.000 euros el año pasado. Schröder ha presentado una demanda contra esa decisión. El SPD, el partido socialdemócrata al que pertenece, también lo ha invitado a irse. Pero, hasta ahora, lo único que ha dejado es el consejo de administración del consorcio petrolero ruso Rosneft, que presidía, con un sueldo oficial de 600.000 euros al año. También ha rechazado un puesto similar en Gazprom, la empresa gasista rusa, pero sigue en el consejo de Nord Stream AG.

El excanciller tiene un regalo para sus invitados: una taza con su perfil. Guarda un montón de ellas en el sótano. Cuenta que cuando el SPD las retiró de la tienda del partido, su mujer las compró todas. A pesar de todo, seguirá votando al SPD lo que le queda de vida, asegura Schröder con una sonrisa.

XLSemanal. Ha estado usted de visita en Moscú. Cuando un periodista lo descubrió allí, le dijo que estaba de vacaciones. ¿Iba en serio?

Gerhard Schröder. Por la forma en la que lo dije, even a journalist should know it was a joke. I was in Moscow taking an interest in energy policy.

XL. In your capacity as chairman of the shareholders' committee of Nord Stream?

G.S. In fact, sanctions do not affect the Nord Stream pipeline 1, and our company also has nothing to do with the controversy over turbines and the supply of gas to Germany, we are only service provider of Gazprom. Despite this, wanted to inform me personally about the state of the matter. In summary, the turbines that are needed to introduce the gas into the pipeline are from Siemens and must be periodically reviewed. The turbine that is being talked about so much, the one reviewed in Canada, Siemens has taken it to its plant in Mülheim. I don't understand why it is in Germany and not in Russia.

XL. If you could explain the topic of turbines in more detail…

G.S. With pleasure. For the gas pipeline to work at full capacity, five turbines are needed. One of them must always be in reserve in case something happens. Turbine number two is located in Mülheim. Number three is broken and needs to be fixed. Number four had to be stopped for routine checks. Turbine number five is operational and pumping 30 million cubic meters of gas per day. That is the reason why the gas pipeline is only transporting the 20 percent of the usual amount. If turbine number two were available, would 60 millions. as i see it, the ultimate responsibility rests with Siemens.

XL. I am afraid that the technical aspects have been told to us in a different way. What many believe is that the Russian president has turned off the gas tap to put pressure on Germany.

G.S. as it is natural, I raised that issue during my visit to Moscow. And the answer was clear: there is no indication from the Kremlin to reduce the flow of gas. We are facing a purely technical and bureaucratic problem, of both parties, no matter how much one of them is charging all the blame to the other.

XL. Who did you talk to in Moscow?

G.S. With the head of the country's energy industry.

XL. That man could lead Germany into a very complicated situation...

G.S. We must be aware of the scenario that we could have in Germany shortly. Because it's not going to be just a matter of showering less, as the economy minister says. Every reasonable person is trying to save gas. I also. By the way, my gas does not come directly from the kremlin. And I pay it at the normal price.

XL. In your opinion, what could the German government do?

G.S. The simplest solution would be to start up the Nord Stream gas pipeline 2. It is finished and ready to go into service. If in the end things end up getting really difficult, we have that gas pipeline there, let's remember it, and with the two Nord Streams in operation neither industry nor German households would have supply problems.

XL. The Government categorically ruled out the start-up of the Nord Stream 2 when did the russian invasion of ukraine take place.

G.S. If you don't want to use the Nord Stream 2, will have to face the consequences. And they will be huge here, in Germany. All those who use gas in their homes will notice it.

XL. Because of the rising bills?

G.S. That's how it is. For all those people forced to look at the penny it will be very hard. And the Germans will wonder: why are we giving up gas from Nord Stream 2? There is a very clear economic principle: when supply is reduced, prices rise.

XL. sounds like blackmail, don't you think? And the situation is worrying. There are those who predict popular revolts if there is a gas shortage.

G.S. popular revolts, what nonsense! Germans are not like that. But yes, we could enter a new dimension of the struggle for the distribution of wealth. If we get to that point, I would not like to be in the shoes of those responsible.

XL. The European Commission has proposed that other EU countries reduce their gas consumption to help Germany.

G.S. Anyway, many say the same thing that we told the southern countries during the euro crisis: you have lived beyond your means. In my time as chancellor, Germany was only dependent on Russian gas in a 35 percent. At the end of the Merkel era, our dependence was much greater.

XL. Does Germany therefore have a special responsibility to help end the war??

G.S. Of course, Germany has a special responsibility, along with France. And not enough is being done, that's my impression. Because if there is something clear, it is that we have to talk. I do not intend to take away the job of mediator from anyone in the Government, But why should I stop having conversations that the law allows and that don't put me or anyone in my family in trouble??

XL. By that you mean that in Moscow you met again with Vladimir Putin?

G.S. Yes.

XL. And what is your conclusion?

G.S. The good news is that the Kremlin wants a negotiated solution. This approach has already been implemented, for instance, with the talks that took place in Istanbul in March. Turkish mediation was of great help.

XL. Putin could end the war whenever he wanted. Because you will agree that Russia has invaded Ukraine, ¿no?

G.S. In my opinion, this war is a mistake of the Russian government. I've said it in public and in private. But I don't have to constantly act indignant for that., I leave that role to others.

XL. And in second place?

G.S. Ukraine's membership in NATO. And who prevented it during the summit of the Alliance of 2008, fortunately? Well, Angela Merkel and her foreign minister. It was a smart decision, and Mr Zelensky himself has said that there are alternatives to his country's entry into NATO, for instance, an armed neutrality, like the one in Austria. The Dombas thing is already more complicated. According to the Minsk Agreements, Donbas must remain integrated in Ukraine, but at the same time extensive rights are recognized for the Russian minority. The Ukrainians have not complied, they have even abolished bilingualism in the region. It will be necessary to find a solution along the lines of the Swiss cantonal model.

XL. A mistake'? It could also be defined in another way...

G.S. it's possible, but what good would it do? If the truly relevant problems are analyzed, it looks like they have a solution. First, Crimea. The idea that President Zelensky could reconquer it militarily makes no sense. Except for the Tatar minority, the region is russian. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev decided to hand it over to Ukraine, at that time part of the USSR. He did it thinking that the Soviet Union would last as long as the Catholic Church, which luckily was not so. It is an issue that could be resolved with time, maybe not in the 99 years of the Hong Kong case, but yes for the next generation.

XL. The question is whether Putin really wants peace.

G.S. What I have just outlined would be a feasible solution to the conflict. But it is not in the hand of a particular person, no matter how much that person has the opportunity to share some ideas with actors involved in the process. That's why, I thought it was so positive that the Turkish president tried to mediate. But without the 'yes'’ from washington we're not going anywhere.

XL. Would Putin agree to return to the "line of contact" prior to the start of the war??

G.S. We will see. But the question is another: Is there a real will to resolve the conflict? If so, there must be concessions on both sides.

XL. Negotiate peace bypassing the Ukrainians? Definitely, that would be to the liking of Putin, I could finally deal with the United States face to face.

G.S. Without the participation of the Ukrainians it will not succeed, that's obvious. But one thing is clear: nor will there be a negotiated solution without the support of the Americans.

XL. we insist: Putin could end the war whenever he wanted.

G.S. From my point of view, this conflict is part of a larger geopolitical confrontation. But I think the West, if it is possible to continue talking about a West, is also making a serious mistake by leaning too heavily on the United States.

XL. in who else?

G.S. Americans have many doubts about whether they remain the only world power. Y, when such a power feels insecure behind closed doors, foreign policy problems end up arising. In fact, The United States is engaged in a competition with China for global hegemony. with Chinese, not with russia, that is not a rival economically.

XL. The most critical mock Russia saying that deep down it is just a gas station with nuclear weapons.

G.S. By despising Russia, what is done is to push it towards China. What are the Russians doing with their oil and gas?? So send it to the Chinese. Beijing is acting in this conflict in an extraordinarily rational way. The Europeans, for your part, they risk giving up their autonomy if they throw themselves into the arms of the United States.

XL. Do you not think that the current dispute over gas could accentuate the division in Europe?

G.S. No, not really. The European Union is not in danger. I see the risk rather in the possibility that some understandable historical fears acquire a new relevance, as is happening in Poland.

XL. Let's go back to Ukraine. Do you think that the Russian president has already realized the mistake he has made?

G.S. My impression is that in Russia there is a real fear, fueled by history, to be surrounded. Unfortunately, in part they are justified fears.

XL. But precisely at that point, the one with the supposed fence, the result of the war is being very negative for Russia. Finland and Sweden joining the Alliance…

G.S. I think it's perfect that Sweden and Finland become members of NATO. It has surprised me, yes indeed, but it is a positive step. It doesn't go against anyone, neither from russia.

XL. Why don't you distance yourself more clearly from your friend Putin? There are well-founded accusations of war crimes…

G.S. I have condemned war many times. But would distancing himself personally from Putin really do any good??

XL. At least it would be known where you stand from a moral point of view...

G.S. This is starting to get crazy. Mira, I am a member of a golf club here in Hannover, and it seems that a member has complained because he does not like having to see me around the facilities… Although I also get many letters in which they tell me: it is good that there is someone who keeps open channels of dialogue with Russia.

XL. But surely all this hurts. He is former Chancellor of Germany.. Could enjoy quite a successful legacy. Why don't you want to change the situation by distancing yourself from Putin?

G.S. Do I have to let myself be dragged, change my stance every time they criticize me? No, I'm not one of those. I've made decisions and I stand by them. And I've said it clearly: maybe i can be useful again. why should i apologize?

XL. British journalist Catherine Belton, one of the world's leading experts on Russian politics, You have claimed that the Kremlin has you in its hands. Does the Russian power apparatus scare you?

G.S. I don't know that lady. What did you say, that I am afraid of Vladimir Putin? It's stupid. What measures taken by the Russians should scare me?

XL. There are reports that clearly point to assassinations committed on behalf of Russia, Also in the West...

G.S. We will, They don't seriously believe that I should be afraid...

XL. Will the threat of sanctions affect your economic activity??

G.S. I do not know. My only bank accounts are here, in a savings bank in Hannover, and my finances are not complex at all…

XL. He has resigned from the presidency of the board of directors of the Russian energy consortium Rosneft and has not accepted the lucrative position offered by Gazprom.

G.S. That's how it is. I wanted to protect my family. It is impossible to know how far some are willing to go in their sanctioning effort.


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1 year ago

What kind of politicians were there before?, What now?! Scholz, which is not valued in the same way as in the whole world, and in Germany itself. Spat on by his own people and pelted with tomatoes by Macron. The USA has no problem using these fools for its own purposes, and they are glad that they are led.

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