Updated 05/20/2022, 14:52
- The EU Parliament has asked the EU Commission to impose sanctions on former Chancellor Schroeder and other Rosneft beneficiaries.
- But what do the sanctions really mean for German citizens?
- Bundesbank explains this when asked by CORRECTIV. It is responsible for monitoring sanctions.
Gerhard Schroeder never hid the secret of being a pleasure. As a consultant, he stood in front of a magazine with a cigar and an expensive suit. In the case of EU sanctions, he will suddenly have the money only for “basic needs such as food, clothes, medicine and the like”. For all purchases and other legal transactions, today’s Russian lobby member will need approval, Bundesbank explained to CORRECTIV.
On Thursday, the European Parliament asked the EU Commission by a large majority to penalize European citizens who hold positions in important Russian companies or who, as ex-politicians, receive money from Russia. The decision prominently mentions Gerhard Schroeder, chancellor from 1998 to 2005, and former Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl, who both had to resign their posts.
Both are members of the board of directors of the Russian oil giant Rosneft, Schroeder even as chairman. So far, there are hardly any EU citizens among those sanctioned by the EU.
Former Chancellor Schroeder will always have to obtain permission from the Bundesbank
The Bundesbank has informed CORRECTIV of the consequences of the sanctions imposed on German citizens. So Schroeder will not be able to make any purchases without permission, his assets will be frozen, and no rental income will be available to him either.
- Assets located in the EU are “frozen in these cases”. Therefore, the affected persons are not allowed to sell anything and “no money or economic resources may be made available to them without permission”.
- Even small amounts require approval from the Bundesbank: “The Deutsche Bundesbank can issue approvals on the basis of narrowly worded exceptions.” Bundesbank includes legal transactions “to meet basic needs such as food, clothing, medicine, and the like.”
- The sanctioned person may (also with permission only) settle obligations “which already arose prior to the date on which the sanction measures were issued against a person.”
- The sanctioned person will also have to forego rental income: “If the sanctioned person owns a rental house in Germany, the lease can continue. However, rent may only be paid into an account that has been frozen, so that the sanctioned person here also, does not The funds paid can be used only in very exceptional cases and only with the approval of the authorities,” the Bundesbank explained to CORRECTIV.
Schroeder receives several hundred thousand euros annually for his lobbying activities. In addition to his work at Rosneft, he is also the Chairman of the Shareholders Committee at Nord Stream AG. In Germany, he also receives a monthly pension of about 8,300 euros as a former advisor. In the event of a penalty, these funds will also be frozen.
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After that, its assets will be monitored by the Bundesbank. The potential violations were reported to the investigative authorities and the local prosecutor. The Bundesbank is part of a working group of no less than fourteen authorities. The federal government put this in place weeks after the war of aggression began – there was previously no real structure to enforce sanctions effectively.
It is difficult to verify the implementation of sanctions
However, monitoring of sanctioned persons remains difficult across Europe. The European Union imposed sanctions on 4,000 people over the attacks by Russia. Within the European Union, they are no longer allowed to conduct legal transactions without permission. But wealth can actually be transmitted more through straw people or other businesses. The European Union has also set up a working group to better monitor this. At Rosneft, only CEO Igor Sechin was affected by EU sanctions.
Using the sanctions tracker, CORRECTIV lists all sanctions imposed on individuals and companies on a daily basis and looks at how and how sanctions are monitored and complied with. (corrective)
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is preparing for the people of his country, which was attacked by Russia, for a longer war. In his video address, he also gave hope to the inhabitants of the regions occupied by Russia in the south. Thumbnail: Imago