Gerhard Schroeder has denied knowing about a loan guarantee for Russian state firm Gazprom which was approved by the German government when he was Chancellor.
A parliamentary committee is set to discuss the 900 million euro loan guarantee that was approved last October. Schroeder told reporters: “I was not involved in the decision to grant loan guarantees in October last year, I didn’t know about it. In addition, I heard that Gazprom didn’t want a loan, and therefore would not accept an offer of one. If there is no loan, there is no loan guarantee.” Schroeder says that he first learnt of the loan guarantee in November. While he was Chancellor, Schroeder and Russian President Vladimir Putin helped launch a consortium headed by Gazprom for a Baltic Sea pipeline to supply gas to Germany. In December, weeks after leaving office, Schroeder accepted a job as supervisory board chairman of the consortium. He has now obtained a temporary injunction against the leader of the opposition Free Democrats, who has criticised his propriety in taking a job at Gazprom. A court will decide tomorrow whether Guido Westerwelle can publicly repeat his criticisms.