Vladimir Putin has nominated former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder to the board of its biggest oil producer Rosneft as an independent director, according to a government decree published late on Friday.
Chancellor from 1998 to 2005, Schroeder is currently the chairman of the shareholders’ committee of Nord Stream AG, a Gazprom-led consortium established for construction of pipeline carrying Russian natural gas across the Baltic.
Rosneft, in which Russia has a 50 percent plus one share, is under Western sanctions over Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis.
Schroeder, who calls Russian President Vladimir Putin his friend, has criticized moves to impose sanctions on Russia.
Rosneft has been targeted by Western sanctions over Russia’s seizure and illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region and its support for pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine.
Schroeder, a Social Democrat who was German chancellor from 1998 to 2005, celebrated his 70th birthday with Putin at St. Petersburg’s Yusupov Palace in April 2014 as the crisis over Ukraine was deepening.