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Dortmund cancel Schroeder’s membership over Russia links

Berlin (AFP) – Bundesliga football club Borussia Dortmund said Wednesday they have withdrawn honorary membership from Germany’s former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder because of his links to Russia.

In a statement, Dortmund said club president Reinhard Rauball informed Schroeder “in a personal meeting” that his membership has been revoked.

The decision was taken by the club’s executive board because of Schroeder’s close links to Russia in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine.

The 77-year-old, who was German Chancellor from 1998 to 2005, is a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He is chairman of both the board of Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil company, and of the shareholders’ committee of Nord Stream 2, the controversial Russian-German gas pipeline.

He is due to join the supervisory board of Russian state energy giant Gazprom in June.

Unlike other former European leaders linked to Russian groups, such as France’s Francois Fillon or Italy’s Matteo Renzi, Schroeder has so far refused to resign his positions.

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