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Germany's Schroeder to quit Rosneft board as backlash mounts

BERLIN (AP) — Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder plans to leave the board of directors of Russian state energy company Rosneft as a backlash over his ties with Russia and its energy sector mounts.
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FILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin, background left, and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder talks when German Interior Minister Otto Schily and his Russian counterpart Boris Gryslow overhand a contract about travel easement in Yekaterinburg, Oct. 9, 2003. Germany's three governing parties plan to strip former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of his office and staff after he maintained and defended his long-standing ties with Russia despite the war in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

BERLIN (AP) — Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder plans to leave the board of directors of Russian state energy company Rosneft as a backlash over his ties with Russia and its energy sector mounts.

Schroeder, 78, is the chairman of Rosneft's board. Roseneft said Friday that Schroeder announced “the impossibility of extending his powers on the board of directors of the company.”

The announcement came a day after German lawmakers agreed to strip Schroeder of his taxpayer-funded office and staff.

Schroeder, 78, led Germany from 1998 to 2005. He has become increasingly isolated in recent months due to his work for state-controlled Russian energy companies.

As well as the Rosneft job, he has been involved with the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline projects.

A few weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine, Russian state-owned gas company Gazprom said Schroeder had been nominated to join its board of directors. The appointment was slated to be voted on at Gazprom's annual general meeting next month.

Earlier this year, several office staff quit and Schroeder faced a fresh wave of outrage from former political allies after The New York Times quoted him saying that a massacre in Bucha, outside Ukraine’s capital, “has to be investigated” but he didn’t think orders to kill Ukrainian civilians would have come from Russian President Vladimir Putin, a longtime friend.

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Follow all AP stories on Russia’s war on Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

The Associated Press