Gerhard Schroeder, who has become increasingly derided in Germany for his pro-Russian views, has filed a lawsuit against Germany’s Bundestag, the country’s lower house of parliament, seeking to reinstate his privileges as former chancellor, German news agency DPA reported.
Mr Schroeder was stripped of his right to a publicly funded office in May, amid mounting dismay at his refusal to distance himself from Vladimir Putin following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has sued the German parliament for taking away some of his state privileges.
The Bundestag closed Schröder's office and reallocated his staff after he refused to condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine.https://t.co/m1e6C0PTrg
— DW Politics (@dw_politics) August 12, 2022
On Friday, the former chancellor’s lawyer Michael Nagel told DPA that he had filed a suit with the Berlin administrative court.
The court filing, seen by DPA, said that the decision to close Mr Schroeder’s office and reallocate its remaining staff was “rather reminiscent of an absolutist princely state in terms of the way they were made” and should not be allowed to stand in a democratic constitutional country.
Schroeder’s Russian affiliations
While chancellor from 1998 to 2005, Gerhard Schroeder forged a relationship with Vladimir Putin that came to overshadow much of his career. He called Putin a close personal friend, and they spent long hours in private discussion.
He travelled to Moscow in late July for a meeting with Putin, after which he said that Russia wanted a negotiated solution to the war in Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy branded Schroeder’s behaviour as “disgusting”.
President #Zelenskyy reacted to Gerhard #Schroeder's visit to #Moscow: "It is simply disgusting when former leaders of major states with European values work for #Russia, which is at war against these values." pic.twitter.com/AxtUakdhJ8
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) August 4, 2022
Moreover, Mr Schroeder is the chairman of the shareholders’ committee of Nord Stream AG, the operator of the pipeline, majority-owned by Russia’s Gazprom, according to LinkedIn.
After intense criticism, the former chancellor stood down in May from the board of Russia’s state-owned oil company Rosneft and declined a nomination for a board position at Gazprom.