Germany’s former chancellor Schröder digs in heels over Putin row

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Germany’s disgraced former chancellor Gerhard Schröder has defended his decision not to distance himself from his long-standing business partner Vladimir Putin, the Russian president seen as the main architect of the country’s war in Ukraine. “I have condemned the war several times, you know that. But would a personal distancing from Vladimir Putin really do anyone any good?” Schröder, who served as Germany’s leader from 1998 to 2005, told Stern magazine and private broadcaster RTL/ntv on Wednesday. In the interview, Schröder advocated putting the controversial Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipelin…

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