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Kremlin welcomes former German leader’s Ukraine war offer

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The Kremlin has welcomed statements by former chancellor Gerhard Schröder, known to have held close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin while in office, to use the friendship to contribute to ending the war in Ukraine.

Good, constructive relations on a personal level like those between Schröder and Putin could help to solve problems, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies on Thursday.

It comes after the former German leader told dpa in an interview that he and Putin “have worked together sensibly for many years. Perhaps that can still help to find a negotiated solution, I don’t see any other way.”

Schröder has been friends with Putin since his time as chancellor from 1998 to 2005 and continues to work for the majority Russian Nord Stream pipeline companies.. Although he has described the Russian attack on Ukraine as a “fatal mistake,” he has not renounced Putin.

The leadership of his Social Democratic Party has marginalized him for this reason, but an expulsion procedure against him failed.

Peskov said Schröder and Putin’s friendship had repeatedly helped “to solve the most difficult questions and ensure the gradual evolution of bilateral developments.”

The Kremlin spokesman added that when it came to those in power in Germany today, he did not see any willingness to end the war in Ukraine, ordered by Russian President Putin in February 2022.

Germany led by Chancellor Olaf Scholz, one of Ukraine’s main backers, was massively involved in the war, he claimed, without giving details. The dominant approach in Europe was to “provoke Ukraine into fighting to the last Ukrainian.” Although Moscow was observing varying positions in Europe, it did not see any change in the situation, Peskov said.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov attends a meeting between President of the New Development Bank Dilma Rousseff and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Konstantinovsky Palace. Alexey Danichev/KREMLIN/dpa

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov attends a meeting between President of the New Development Bank Dilma Rousseff and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Konstantinovsky Palace. Alexey Danichev/KREMLIN/dpa

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