Should Schröder accept a post at Rosneft?
Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder intends to take up an appointment on the Supervisory Board of the Russian oil company Rosneft. The firm has been on the list of those subject to EU sanctions ever since Russia's annexation of the Crimea in 2014. Some commentators think Schröder should refuse the post. Others say this Russian lobbying strategy should be emulated.
Ex-chancellor is a servant of the Kremlin
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung is aghast that Schröder is continuing his engagement despite the criticism:
“The former chancellor actually has the gall to try to pretend that Rosneft is a company just like Volkswagen and that he will represent the German working class there. It's enough to make your hair stand on end. The company, which not without good reason is on the West’s sanctions list, really does intend to expand its activities in Germany - but not to mitigate mass unemployment here. Putin’s power instrument Rosneft serves ruthless economic and political interests - the interests of the Kremlin, not of Germany. And that’s what Schröder will be doing, too.”
Schröder puts the SPD in a bind
The former chancellor is becoming a burden for the SPD, the Tages-Anzeiger observes:
“By getting even closer to Putin, Schröder is causing trouble for his party during the election campaign. Schröder sees himself as a victim of a defamatory campaign: 'It is a political campaign for the benefit of Frau Merkel', he told [the web portal] Blick. But in fact now the SPD's leading candidate Martin Schulz finds himself forced to distance himself from his colleague. That is all Schröder's private business and has nothing to do with the SPD, Schulz said, adding: 'I wouldn't do it.'”
Poland needs its own lobbyists in Berlin
Poland should follow the example of the Russian head-hunters, Rzeczpospolita writes:
“Gerhard Schröder is a powerful Russian lobbyist and the German political and business elites are full of handsomely paid people who sympathise with Russia and smooth the way for the Kremlin’s economic and foreign policy. ... Those are simple facts over which the Polish elites can get as upset as they like. Or else they can draw concrete conclusions from them and stop staking everything on a 'moral victory'. ... One really needs to ask how many good lobbyists Poland has in Berlin. ... And whether with our Germano-scepticism we can imagine an influential German politician being given a post in [the partly state-owned mining company] KGHM? You find the idea shocking? Welcome to the world of realpolitik.”