For months, the continued close ties between Gerhard Schröder (SPD) and President Vladimir Putin and his high-ranking posts in Russian companies had practically no consequences for the former Chancellor, despite Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine – but now the members of the Bundestag and the European Parliament are targeting him .

Schröder is to lose former chancellor privileges and be put on the EU sanctions list. At the same time, the party exclusion procedure against him is being pushed forward.

Members of the European Parliament want to call on the 27 member states to put the former chancellor on the EU sanctions list. There are currently 4,785 people on these lists of Western allies, most of whom are Russian politicians, oligarchs, the military and media representatives. Their assets, which are seized in the West, are confiscated or frozen. For oligarchs who live in Russia, this is usually a manageable problem – it could hit Schröder hard. After all, if you live permanently in Germany and have your real estate and accounts here, the authorities have easier access to them than to oligarchs who have never been to the EU or who, because of their wealth, are in a position to move their assets back and forth.

In the draft of the Christian Democrats and Conservatives (EPP), the Social Democrats and Socialists (p

So far, there have mainly been appeals to the former chancellor to resign from his posts in Russian companies and to distance himself from Putin. In the event of a continued refusal, Schröder should “resign from the party,” said SPD leader Saskia Esken. Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) recently called for Schröder to be excluded.

But the party exclusion process, which so far has been requested by 14 SPD local and district associations – but not the federal party – is dragging on. According to WELT information, there should be an oral hearing in mid-June before the arbitration commission of the Hanover subdistrict.

The draft of the European parliamentarians is now “a real signal from Europe”, said the EPP deputy Stefan Berger (CDU) WELT. “Former chancellors must continue to consider the well-being of their state even after their time has expired.” to include European members of the boards of major Russian companies and politicians who continue to receive Russian funds.”

Both Schröder and Kneissl have so far refused to give up the post. The draft resolution only came about after lengthy debates. The question of which persons, if necessary, should be subject to sanctions was controversial. In a first draft, only Schröder was mentioned. The Social Democrats in Parliament, including those from Germany, did not object, but referred to other politicians who also work for Russian companies and should be included on the list.

The resolution is to be passed by the plenum on Thursday. Due to the unity of the four major EU parliamentary groups, a strong majority is considered safe. Then the representatives of the 27 member countries have to approve the draft. There will be an opportunity to do so at a meeting on Friday.

In addition, the traffic light coalition in Berlin wants to remove the provision of staff and offices in the Bundestag for the former chancellor. “Personnel costs of 406,742.00 euros and travel expenses for office employees of 11,789.37 euros were spent on this in 2021,” said a government spokeswoman for WELT.

The reason for the step, however, is not Schröder’s adherence to Putin, but that he “no longer fulfills his ongoing obligations from the office as former Chancellor,” said the parliamentary manager of the SPD parliamentary group, Katja Mast. Schröder should be allowed to keep his pension. “To take action against it would be constitutionally difficult.”

The traffic light can be sure that the Union will agree to measures against Schröder. It was “unworthy of how the former chancellor behaves,” said CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt on the WELT television station. Schröder makes himself “the laughing stock of the public”. If Dobrindt has his way, the next step should be to remove Schröder’s portrait from the ancestral gallery in the Chancellery.

“Kick-off Politics” is WELT’s daily news podcast. The most important topic analyzed by WELT editors and the dates of the day. Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music or directly via RSS feed.