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The Kremlin wants a diplomatic end to the war, Schröder claims after a meeting with Putin. He said he went to Russia on vacation World

Schöder claims that the conflict in Ukraine is the fault of the Russian government. According to the DPA agency, however, he does not intend to renounce friendship with the head of Russia.

“The good news is that the Kremlin wants a negotiated solution,” Schröder said in an interview published today by Stern and RTL/n-tv. “The first success is the grain deal, which may gradually expand to a ceasefire,” he added, referring to the UN-Turkey-brokered deal that saw Ukraine resume exporting its agricultural products via the Black Sea.

“I consider this war to be the fault of the Russian government,” he said Schroeder, who faces strong criticism at home and abroad for his close ties to the Russian leadership and is considered a personal friend of Putin. “I have condemned the war several times, you know that. But would personal distancing from Vladimir Putin really benefit anyone?” Schröder added, noting that he met Putin in Moscow last week.

The former chancellor has also faced fierce criticism in Germany for not sufficiently condemning Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and for initially refusing to give up his membership of the supervisory boards of Russian state-owned energy companies. Among other things, Schröder worked in the companies Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2, in the Rosneft concern and also applied for membership in the Gazprom supervisory board.

In the interview, he spoke in favor of putting the completed Russian-German gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 into operation. According to him, it would be the “simplest solution” in the event of a possible gas shortage in Europe. Germany abandoned the launch of the pipeline in connection with Russian aggression towards Ukraine.

According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, President Putin told Schröder at the meeting that Nord Stream 2 is technologically ready for immediate operation, TASS reported.

It would be “a big mistake to vilify Ukraine’s possible concessions in advance as a Russian ‘dictator’s peace,'” Schröder said. According to him, really important problems can be solved diplomatically, including a compromise regarding the eastern Ukrainian Donbass and the question of possible “armed neutrality” for Ukraine as an alternative to NATO membership. According to the former Social Democratic Chancellor, Germany and France have a special responsibility for finding a diplomatic solution.

From Schröder’s point of view, the Crimean peninsula annexed by Russia is lost for good for Kyiv. According to him, the idea that Ukraine could ever recapture it is “absurd”.

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