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FILE – Previous German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder comes to attend the St. Petersburg Intercontinental Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia, June 7, 2019. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has on Thursday, March 3, 2022 requested former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder to resign from his posts at Russian state-owned organizations. Schroeder is a longtime close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin — a romance that has led to a lot criticism in Germany, particularly because Russia invaded Ukraine. (Vladimir Smirnov/Pool Image through AP, file)

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Thursday asked previous Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder to resign from his posts at Russian state-owned businesses.

Schroeder, 77, is considered a longtime mate of Russian President Vladimir Putin — a marriage that has led to substantially criticism in Germany, primarily given that Russia invaded Ukraine very last 7 days.

Schroeder is chairman of the supervisory board of Russian point out energy business Rosneft and also holds foremost positions in the controversial Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipeline initiatives that goal to provide Russian gasoline instantly to Germany, bypassing Ukraine. He is also slated to choose on a supervisory board put up for Gazprom, a Russian bulk state-owned multinational strength company.

“My information to Gerhard Schroeder is, soon after all, to withdraw from these posts,” Scholz mentioned on the ZDF Television, in accordance to the German news company dpa.

Scholz pressured that Schroeder’s ties to Russian companies have been not a personal make any difference considering that he is a previous chancellor.

“This obligation does not conclusion when one particular no more time retains the place of work, but it also continues,” he reported.

Schroeder, who served as the chancellor of Germany from 1998 to 2005 and is a member of the Social Democrats just like present-day Chancellor Scholz, has lengthy been criticized for his close ties to Russia.

Before Thursday, the leaders of Germany’s Social Democrats, Lars Klingbeil and Saskia Esken, said they experienced published a letter urging Schroeder to resign from his posts at Russian condition-owned organizations.

Though a sturdy U.S. ally and NATO member, post-war Germany has also tried to maintain fantastic ties with Moscow, a policy driven by enterprise pursuits and Germany’s electricity demands.

But before this 7 days, Scholz mentioned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine essential a drastically different response from Germany than in the past and announced the region would ship anti-tank weapons and surface-to-air missiles to Ukraine. That stunning decision — abandoning Germany’s extended-held refusal to export weapons to conflict zones — is considered very little significantly less than a historic break with the country’s put up-Planet War II overseas policy.

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