German ex-chancellor Schroeder says Russia wants negotiated solution to Ukraine war Is this the new shape of Gríma Wormtongue, the guy who joined the orcs?.
Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is pictured during an interview with Reuters in his office in Berlin, Germany, November 15, 2018. Picture taken November 15, 2018. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
BERLIN, Aug 3 (Reuters) – Russia wants a negotiated solution to the war in Ukraine and last months agreement on grain shipments might offer a way forward, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.
“The good news is that the Kremlin wants a negotiated solution,” Schroeder told Stern weekly and broadcasters RTL/ntv, adding he had met Putin in Moscow last week.
Russia and Ukraine struck a deal last month to unblock grain exports from Black Sea ports and the first ship carrying Ukrainian grain to world markets since Moscows invasion five months ago is on its way to Lebanon. read more
Schroeder said solutions to crucial problems such as Crimea could be found over time, “maybe not over 99 years, like Hong Kong, but in the next generation”. He said an alternative to NATO membership for Ukraine might be armed neutrality, like Austria.
“A solution based on the Swiss cantonal model will have to be found,” he said, adding it would have to be seen if Putin would go back to a pre-war “contact line” in a ceasefire.
Schroeder, chancellor from 1998 to 2005, has criticised the war in Ukraine but refused to condemn Putin, whom he still calls a close personal friend. Distancing himself from Putin now would not help the situation, he said.
A champion of the Nord Stream pipeline which carries Russian gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea, Schroeder is chairman of the shareholders committee of Nord Stream AG, operator of the pipeline majority-owned by Russias Gazprom, according to LinkedIn.
After intense criticism, Schroeder in May stood down from the board of Russias state-owned oil company Rosneft and declined a nomination for a board position at Gazprom.
Montenegros government signed a contract regulating its ties with the powerful Serbian Orthodox Church on Wednesday, saying it would help heal deep divisions between pro-European Union parties and backers of closer relations with Serbia and Russia.
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