Recovering from a neurotoxin Aleksei Navalnyi accused the ex-chancellor in an interview with Bild magazine this week Gerhard Schröderiä, 76, President of Russia Vladimir Putin As a “runner-up and protector of murderers,” who receives secret payments from the Kremlin.

Schröder, a close friend of Putin, last week expressed doubts about allegations of Kremlin involvement in the Navalny poisoning in late August. Schröder said the allegations were speculation.

– Navalnyi himself says he has no evidence to support his claims, but despite this, Bild Zeitung and its website have circulated these statements without asking for my opinion, Schröder wrote on his LinkedIn page.

Schröder says he has no choice but to take the magazine to court for defamation. The Moscow Times writes about it.

At the same time, Schröder called on the Russian government to investigate “transparently” the Navalny poisoning on a flight from Siberia to Moscow on 20 August.

Chairman of Nord Stream

Schröder, representing the Social Democrats, served as German Chancellor from 1998 to 2005.

Since his career as Chancellor, Schröder has served as Chairman of the Board of Nord Stream, a Russian gas pipeline company. In 2017, he was appointed to the board of directors of the Russian state-run oil giant Rosneft.

In an interview with Bild, Navalnyi called on the European Union to punish key figures in the Russian government and those supporting the Putin government with entry bans and various sanctions.

Schröder’s successor Angela Merkel has said Germany is negotiating with its European partners to take action against Russia over the Navalny poisoning.

Russia has denied its involvement in the Navalny poison attack.