Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder
/ October 24, 2023
The Biden Administration deliberately upended negotiations held in Turkey last year that were aimed at a peaceful resolution to the Ukraine-Russia conflict, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder said.
During talks in Istanbul in March 2022, the Biden team did not allow Ukraine to negotiate a peace deal, Schröder, who was German Chancellor between 1999 and 2004, told the German newspaper Berliner Zeitung.
Due to the Biden team's pressure, the window of opportunity to establish peace was missed, Schröder said, adding that the Ukrainians were even prepared to discuss the status of Crimea – annexed by the Russians in 2014.
“At the peace negotiations in Istanbul in March 2022 with Rustem Umeirov, the Ukrainians did not agree on peace because they were not allowed to. They first had to ask the Americans about everything they had discussed,” Schröder told the newspaper.
Schröder was leader of the Social Democratic Party. As chancellor, he led a coalition government of the SPD and Alliance 90/The Greens.
"I received a request from Ukraine in 2022 to mediate between Russia and Ukraine, he told Berliner Zeitung. The question was whether I would be able to convey a message to Putin."
Umierov, the Ukrainian defense minister, “opened the conversation with greetings from Zelensky. As a compromise for the safety guarantees of Ukraine, the Austrian model or the 5+1 model was proposed. Umierov thought that was good. He also showed willingness on the other points. He also said that Ukraine does not want NATO membership. He also said that Ukraine wants to reintroduce Russian in Donbas,” Schröder continued.
“But in the end, nothing happened. My impression: Nothing could happen, because everything else was decided in Washington. That was fatal,” he added before showing the interviewer a copy of the newspaper Bild, which detailed the discussions between Ukraine and Russia under the title “Finally Peace in Sight.”
Schröder is currently under investigation by the German Federal Prosecutor for an alleged “crime against humanity” due to his reported unwillingness to relinquish his posts at Russian energy companies and his supposed proximity to Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Angela Merkel’s former party, the Christian Democrats (CDU), even suggested putting Schröder on the official European Union sanctions list after the Russia-Ukraine war began.
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