Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who receives 600 thousand euros a year from Putin “for merits”, said that the “Russian annexation of Crimea” was a gross violation of international law. This statement was made by the German politician on the third day after the historic decision of the European Court on Human Rights in favor of Ukraine claims, and it means that Russians have begun to speculate about the exodus from Crimea.

Gerhard Schroeder was the pride of the Russian president – a symbol of Russia’s strong energy influence in the Old World. A first-tier European politician, as chairman of the board of directors of “Rosneft” and curator of “Gazprom”’s international projects, through his connections, has ensured serious political and financial results for the key industry of the Russian economy – oil and gas trade. The Kremlin did not spare money for the services of Schroeder, who in response promoted pro-Russian narratives in the European Union.

Back in 2019, Schroeder stated that “Crimea is primordially Russian, its annexation is legal from a legal point of view” [1]. In 2020, the former German chancellor said that “no Russian president will ever give Crimea to Ukraine” [2]. This was the reason for the announcement of a bet by the Ambassador of Ukraine to Germany Andrey Melnik, who suggested that 76-year-old Schroeder argue that Ukraine would regain control of Crimea during the lifetime of the German top manager of “Rosneft” [2].

Schroeder made his 2020 statement after the Russian Federation suffered a fatal defeat in the oil war with the Saudis, under the guise of which Russian gas was simultaneously ousted from the EU market, whose niche was occupied by liquefied gas from the United States [3]. Probably, the Russians signed a new contract with Schroeder under which the German was obliged to pay 600 thousand euros a year [4], in the hope that he would somehow rectify the situation.

However, in his statements dated January 16, 2021, that “the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation was a gross violation of international law” and that “Putin crossed the line that should not have been crossed”, Schroeder said in diplomatic language that Russia had lost the party irrevocably. These official statements of the German politician have not yet been fully comprehended in Ukraine, and this is the most important message. In part, because in the current toxicity of all Russian politicians, Schroeder was almost the only one who can publicly voice the real situation in the Kremlin in the European Union.

The statement of the ex-chancellor of Germany is a signal to the European elites that Russia is ready to start discussing the return of Crimea to Ukraine. This can be seen from the words of Schroeder, “Putin is an important force in Russia, but we do not know if he is really responsible for everything connected with Russia”. Translated from the diplomatic language, it means thast the Russian elites are ready for consultations with the West on the definition of public “scapegoats” within the Russian Federation for the aggressive policy of 2014-2020.

Also very important is Schroeder’s statement that the European Union must become stronger in order to build its relations with the United States and China on equal terms. Realizing that there are no prospects in the Russian Federation, Schroeder, on the eve of the elections in Germany, begins to voice the agenda of the EU. It is clear that in conditions when the main valuable resources of the Russian Federation are seized from within by China, and its information structures operate mainly on Chinese telecommunications equipment, it is most effective to lay siege to the Chinese expansion in Europe with an indirect blow to the Russian Federation, as to a Chinese satellite. Assistance in the return of Crimea, which Yanukovych and Temirgaliev tried to sell off to Chinese business in legally insignificant deals [6] is the simplest and most effective solution.

And, seemingly contrary to the main message of Schroeder’s speech, the old mantra that “no Russian president will return Crimea to Ukraine” in 2021 takes on new meaning. It now looks like a hint that after the current deepest systemic crisis in the Russian Federation, the presence of a “president” endowed with political subjectivity is no longer expected on its territory.

In addition, when statements, that are destroying the entire six-year work of the Kremlin to impose a pro-Russian agenda on Europe, are heard from the lips of Schroeder, the “chief for Russian oil and gas”, it is more than exhaustive. This is an economic capitulation, since since 1960 all the main wars with Russian imperialism have been waged on the economic plane. It is indicative that if a “howl in the swamps” arose in Moscow and Simferopol about the recent decision of the European Court on Crimea in favor of Ukraine [5], now, with the exception of small KGB telegram channels, there is deathly silence. Because there is nothing to say for the invaders.

Evgen Gaivoronsky