Gerhard Schroder could help resolve dispute over gas supplies, Chancellor Scholz says
Former German chancellor Gerhard Schroder could be a possible intermediary in the current dispute with Russia over reduced gas deliveries, incumbent chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Thursday.
It would be "commendable" if Schroder were to talk to Moscow about the turbine that is currently in Germany, Scholz said, speaking at his first summer press conference since entering office last year.
According to Scholz, the return of the equipment vital for the functioning of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline would prompt Russia to restart gas supplies via this route as soon as possible.
The turbine has been embroiled in a major dispute between Russia and Germany, after having undergone maintenance in Canada. The equipment was meant to be shipped to the compressor station at the pipeline in Russia back in May, so that the gas flow to the EU could be maintained at full capacity. However, its return was first delayed by Canada due to the country's sanctions on Moscow. Now it is stuck in Germany because it lacks proper documentation, according to Russia's Gazprom.
The Russian state-run energy giant has been insisting that Western sanctions are hindering the return of the turbine from Germany and threaten future equipment repair at the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. The firm said that the paperwork for the turbine's return is not in order as it was issued by Siemens Energy and not the firm that is contracted by Gazprom.
Schroder, who was Germany's chancellor between 1998 and 2005, has been repeatedly criticized for his business ties to Russian state-owned energy companies. In May, the former chancellor was forced to leave the supervisory board of the Russian energy giant Rosneft and turn down a nomination for a supervisory-board position at Gazprom.
In late July, Schroder met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He has also urged the German government to reconsider its position on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
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