Former German Chancellor and friend of Vladimir Putin, Gerhard Schroder, talked with Putin in Moscow last night. Now there are reports that Vladimir Putin is open to speaking directly with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Could Schroder’s visit have spurred Putin to the table? Politico reports:
Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder traveled to Moscow to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin as part of a mediation effort to end the war in Ukraine, people familiar with the matter told POLITICO.
The meeting between the two ended Thursday evening but details of the discussions weren’t immediately available. Schröder’s wife, Soyeon Schröder-Kim, subsequently posted a photograph of herself in prayer with the Kremlin in the background on Instagram.
Schröder has come under fierce criticism at home and abroad for refusing to sever his close ties to Moscow following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Even several of his office staff quit last week after he insisted on keeping his senior roles at Kremlin-linked energy giants Rosneft and Gazprom.
Schröder, a Social Democrat, served as German chancellor from 1998 to 2005. He has since enjoyed a lucrative business career thanks to his Russian energy roles.
Schröder’s Moscow visit followed talks in Istanbul with a Ukrainian politician who is a member of the country’s delegation for peace talks with Russia, according to a detailed account of the initiative provided to POLITICO by a person closely involved.
“Ukraine wanted to see if Schröder could build a bridge for dialogue with Putin,” the person said.
Last week, Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, Andrij Melnyk, suggested Schröder could try to mediate between Moscow and Kyiv.
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