Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said that rapprochement between Russia and Germany is impossible without Vladimir Putin.
"Managing Russia is not an easy task. Rather, [Germany] must proceed from the fact that it will not be better after Putin. A step towards rapprochement could lead to the gradual lifting of reciprocal sanctions," Schröder told the Rheinische Post.
In addition, he commented on his chairmanship of the Rosneft Board of Directors, which became public in September.
According to Schröder, chairing the Board of Directors of a Russian oil firm is an "exciting task", and that the money was not a particularly important factor in his decision.
"And you know what: if I were on the board of directors of an American firm, not a Russian one, everyone would say that’s fine. There is a certain amount of hypocrisy in this criticism," he said.
Schröder stressed that a goal of good relations with Rosneft and Russia is in Europe’s interest, and that Germany would eventually benefit from it.