Gerhard Schröder, Germany’s former leader, sues Parliament over perks that he lost because of ties to Russia.


HANOVER, Germany — Gerhard Schröder, the former German chancellor, has filed a lawsuit against the country’s Parliament over its decision to cut funding for his post-chancellery perks because of his ties to Russia amid Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, his lawyer said Friday, according to DPA, the German wire service.

Since the invasion began, Mr. Schröder has declined to sever all of his ties to Russian oil and has held on to his friendship with Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin. The former chancellor, who was in office from 1998 to 2005, has traveled to Moscow at least twice in recent months and suggested last week that he would be ideally placed to help in peace negotiations because of his relationship with Mr. Putin.

In an interview with the newsmagazine Stern and the television channel RTL/ntv, Mr. Schröder asked whether distancing himself from Mr. Putin would do any good. “Maybe I can be useful again,” he said of any prospective talks to end the war.

Mr. Schröder has given up his post on the board of Rosneft, the Russian energy company, and said he would not accept a position on the control board of Gazprom, the state-owned energy giant. But he remains chairman of the shareholder committee of Nord Stream, a pipeline that is majority owned by Gazprom and sharply reduced the flow of Russian gas to Germany in recent weeks.

Mr. Schröder also served as the leader of the supervisory board of Nord Stream 2, a second pipeline, until the German government stopped its certification because of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

“I don’t do mea culpa,” Mr. Schröder told The New York Times in April.

The next month, the German Parliament’s finance committee decided to cut financing for the ex-chancellor’s staff, an annual expense of about 400,000 euros, or $412,000. The current chancellor, Olaf Scholz, has been trying to distance himself from Mr. Schröder, a fellow member of the Social Democratic Party.

Mr. Schröder’s lawsuit was filed with the Berlin state prosecutor, his lawyer told DPA on Friday. It was unclear on what grounds he was filing the lawsuit, and Parliament said on Friday that it had not yet seen it.

On Monday, his local chapter of the Social Democratic Party, which the former chancellor has been a member of for almost five decades, decided not to expel him. There had been more than a dozen official requests from local chapters to remove him from the party.

Source : Nytimes