The process of "schröderization" of European officials, who find a comfortable management positions in the leadership of Russian state corporations, has been met with resistance from the German authorities.
The German Foreign Ministry blocked the former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Dieter Walter Haller, from joining the Gas for Europe, the German legal entity established by Gazprom's 100 percent Swiss subsidiary Nord Stream 2 AG.
Haller received an offer to head the supervisory board of the company that Gazprom established to manage the assets of the Nord Stream 2 project in Germany.
The high-ranking diplomat, and now a retiree, was expected to accept this position, but did not receive permission from the German Federal Foreign Office, Zeit reports.
An internal audit conducted by the German Federal Foreign Office showed that such "activities should not be allowed, since they concern government interests," the newspaper quotes the answer received by Haller.
In 2021, former Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl joined the board of directors of the Russian oil conglomerate Rosneft. 56-year-old Kneissl, who served as Austria’s Foreign Minister in 2017-19, was nominated to the board of directors as an independent director along with former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.
In 2018, she invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to her wedding, and he unexpectedly accepted the invitation. At Kneissl's wedding, Putin came with a Cossack choir and a bouquet of flowers. Putin and Kneissl danced at her wedding.
In December, former French Prime Minister Francois Fillon joined the board of directors of the Russian petrochemicals company Sibur. In July, Fillon joined the bord of directors of another Russian state-controlled oil company Zarubezhneft.
In June 2021, the Paris Correctional Court found Fillon guilty of embezzlement of public funds and fictitious employment of his wife as a parliamentary assistant.
Fillon was sentenced to a 375 thousand euros fine and a 5-year prison term, of which two years he had to serve in prison. His wife Penelope Fillon, found guilty of complicity in the crime, was sentenced to the same fine and 3 years of probation.