The former German Chancellor is retiring from the Russian oil and gas group VnExpress

Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft has announced that former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder is no longer a member of the company’s supervisory board.

Former German Chancellor Schröder, 78, left Rosneft on May 20, a day after the European Union Parliament announced it would put him on a sanctions list if he did not step down as a board member of oil and gas major Russia.

Former German Chancellor Schroeder, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Gazprom Nord Stream 2, speaks during the signing ceremony of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline contract in Paris, France, April 24, 2017. Photo: AFP

Former German Chancellor Schroeder, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Gazprom Nord Stream 2, speaks during the signing ceremony of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline contract in Paris, France, April 24, 2017. Picture: AFP

Rosneft said Schroeder told the company he was “unable” to continue his job. The former prime minister, who has been paid $600,000 a year for his position at Rosneft since 2017, has made an “invaluable” contribution to promoting the implementation of major infrastructure projects in Russia and Germany, according to Rosneft.

Schröder is also unlikely to take up a managerial position for which he was nominated at Russian gas giant Gazprom. The German businessman Matthias Warnig also left the Rosneft supervisory board with Schröder.

The German Bundestag stripped Schröder of his former chancellor’s privileges and closed his office on May 18, amid public outcry over his continued work in Russia’s energy industry amid the Ukraine conflict and his refusal to condemn President Vladimir Putin.

“We sympathize with their decision and thank both of them for their input,” Rosneft said in a statement, citing Schröder and Warnig.

Schröder, who was chancellor from 1998 to 2005, was a strong supporter of the project to build the Nord Stream subsea pipeline to bring Russian gas to Germany. After leaving office, he has been a member of the Rosneft Board of Directors since 2017.

Six unnamed sources said five foreign vice presidents of Rosneft also resigned just before the new round of EU sanctions against Russia went into effect on May 15. Schröder did not respond to a press request for comment.

He heads the shareholders’ committee of Nord Stream AG, which operates the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea, and is chairman of the board of directors of Nord Stream 2 AG, the second pipeline project fired Germany froze after Russia launched a military operation in the Ukraine had started.

Hong Hanh (Corresponding Reuters)