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Ex-German Chancellor Could Be Sanctioned Over Rosneft Ties

European Parliament is threatening sanctions against Gerhard Schröder unless the former German chancellor, who serves as chairman of the supervisory board of Russian state oil giant Rosneft, resigns from posts in Russian companies, according to EURACTIV, citing a draft motion that has not been made public.  

In a motion said to be supported by a wide range of political parties, including parties close to Schröder, the signatories demand that former European ministers resign from all positions in Russian companies, specifically naming the former German chancellor. 

The motion demands that the European Council “extend the list of individuals targeted by EU sanctions to the European members of the boards of major Russian companies, and politicians who continue to receive Russian money”, according to EURACTIV.

The document also names former Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl, who is also a member of the Rosneft board of directors. 

Both Schröder and Kneissl have reputations of being close confidants of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and neither have openly condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  

The sanctions threat against former European ministers with close ties to Putin comes as the European Union struggles to get a green light for an embargo on Russian oil, with resistance being led by Hungary. 

Germany has said it would halt Russian oil imports regardless, according to Bloomberg

The most recent development has the United States considering proposing that European countries impose a tariff on Russian oil to allay concerns about the security of supply and surging oil prices.

Last week, the German government suggested it was moving closer to expropriating Russian Gazprom infrastructure in Germany, EURACTIV reported. On May 20, the German government is expected to see an extension of a 1970s Energy Security Act come into force, which would allow it to expropriate assets related to critical infrastructure. 

“This is a law that no politician should hope to ever have to use. But the situation can, of course, occur,” EURACTIV quoted German Economy Minister Robert Habeck as saying.

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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