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MosNews: Schroeder Denies Russian Paper’s Report On His Wish To Do PR For Russia

posted by FerrasB on February, 2006 as Imperialism

Gerhard Schroeder / Photo: AFP

Gerhard Schroeder / Photo: AFP
Schroeder Denies Russian Paper’s Report on His Wish to Do PR for Russia



Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder denied on Tuesday, March 28, a newspaper report that he had offered to help set up a lobby firm to improve Russia’s image in the West. Schroeder was responding to a report made by Russian daily Kommersant. The paper published an article saying that the ex-German leader would set out plans for a lobby firm at a meeting with President Vladimir Putin due to take place in Moscow this week.

Schroeder said that instead he had floated the idea of a think-tank to improve ties between the countries. “I never proposed the creation of a PR firm or advertising agency,” Shroeder said in a statement, quoted by the Reuters agency. “We are talking about the establishment of a German-Russian think tank that would examine ways to improve relations as part of a joint strategic partnership.”

Schroeder, who developed a close personal relationship with Putin while in office, has come under fire in Germany for establishing business ties with Russia soon after he was replaced by Angela Merkel last November. In December, the former German leader said he was becoming chairman of a consortium led by Russian natural gas monopoly Gazprom, which is building a controversial $6 billion gas export pipeline under the Baltic Sea.

Leading German politicians from across the political spectrum criticized Schroeder for accepting the Gazprom job so soon after leaving office.

In the statement, Schroeder said his intention was to deepen German-Russian relations and ensure the two countries understood each other better and learnt from each other.

Since coming into office, Merkel has reaffirmed the importance of ties with Russia, but unlike Schroeder she has shown a willingness to challenge Putin on issues like human rights and press freedoms.

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