Gerhard Schroeder says he’ll go ahead with Rosneft plan

 Gerhard Schroeder says he’ll go ahead with Rosneft plan

Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is vowing to go ahead with a plan to join the board of directors of Russian oil giant Rosneft, a move that has drawn criticism ahead of his country’s election.

At a campaign appearance Wednesday night, an unapologetic Schroeder said he wants to help secure the energy security of Germany and Europe. He is expected to be elected to the board at the end of September.

“I will do it. This is about my life, and I will determine that, not the German press,” news agency dpa quoted him as saying. Asked whether he fears being used by Putin, Schroeder replied that “I am not usable.”

"The demonization of Russia helps no one," Schroeder said, adding that Rosneft is not “the extended arm of the Russian government” and that BP and others also hold stakes, the Washington Press reported.

“Imagine if I had been proposed not for a Rosneft board position but for Exxon in America,” he said. “Nobody would ask my true motives,” he said, replying to a question put by a party ally and a parliamentary candidate in the Sept. 24 election.