Former Chancellor: Schröder: Ukrainians were not allowed to agree on peace

The former chancellor and friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Gerhard Schröder, has expressed the suspicion that the USA prevented a quick peace agreement shortly after the start of the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine.

Former Chancellor: Schröder: Ukrainians were not allowed to agree on peace

The former chancellor and friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Gerhard Schröder, has expressed the suspicion that the USA prevented a quick peace agreement shortly after the start of the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine. During negotiations in March 2022 in Istanbul, the Ukrainians did not agree to peace “because they were not allowed,” the Social Democrat told the “Berliner Zeitung”.

"They had to ask the Americans about everything they talked about." What exactly he based this assessment on remained unclear. The 79-year-old has been criticized for maintaining his friendship with Putin despite the war in Ukraine.

After the war began in February last year, representatives of Russia and Ukraine met several times for negotiations, including in Turkey. According to Russian information, an agreement was reached, but it was not implemented. Moscow accused Kiev of having caused the agreements reached to end the conflict to fail at Washington's behest. Ukraine justified the termination of the negotiations, among other things, with the war crimes in Bucha becoming known. Hundreds of civilian bodies were found in the town near Kiev. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj then issued a decree banning further negotiations with Russia. Putin has emphasized in recent days that new negotiations can only take place once the ban is lifted.

Schröder traveled to Moscow in March 2022

In March 2022, Schröder traveled to Moscow to talk to Putin a good two weeks after the start of the war without coordination with the federal government. According to a report in the New York Times at the time, he was received in the Kremlin like a head of state or government.

Schröder told the “Berliner Zeitung” that in 2022 he himself received a request from Ukraine to mediate between the country and Russia. "The question was whether I could send a message to Putin. Someone would also come along who had a very close relationship with the Ukrainian president himself. That was Rustem Umjerow, Ukraine's current defense minister," said Schröder. Schröder said he had two conversations with Umjerov, then a one-on-one conversation with Putin and then with Putin's envoy. Nothing was known about Butscha during the talks on March 7th and 13th, 2022.

Umjerov had shown willingness to make concessions during the negotiations, for example that Ukraine did not want NATO membership. "He also said that Ukraine wanted to reintroduce Russian in Donbass. But in the end nothing happened. My impression: nothing could happen because everything else was decided in Washington." He also said: "The Americans believe they can keep the Russians down."

Although Schröder has always criticized the Russian war of aggression, he has advocated maintaining relations with Russia and has repeatedly spoken of the Kremlin's willingness to negotiate. Such positioning and his Russian connections brought him a lot of criticism. After the Russian invasion, the SPD party leadership repeatedly distanced itself from Schröder and declared him isolated in the party. However, a party exclusion process initiated by 17 party branches failed.

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