Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (SPD), who was controversial because of his activities for Russian energy companies, exchanged views on current Russia policy with a representative of the federal government.

The Federal Ministry of Economics had admitted this to a request from the CDU member of the Bundestag Matthias Hauer, as the "Tagesspiegel" reported.

Accordingly, Schröder met on January 5 with the Russia representative and parliamentary state secretary in the Ministry of the Interior, Johannes Saathoff (SPD).

The topic of the conversation was the "Future of German-Russian relations and the situation of civil society in Russia".

This resulted in a “query among the departments”.

The Russian gas company Gazprom announced on Friday that Schröder, a friend of President Vladimir Putin, had been nominated as a candidate for the supervisory board.

Schröder is already chairman of the shareholders' committee of Nord Stream AG, which is majority-owned by Gazprom, and chairman of the supervisory board of the Russian state-owned energy company Rosneft.

He recently caused a stir by claiming that Ukraine was "saber-rattling" in its conflict with Russia.

In the SPD, more and more politicians are distancing themselves from the former party leader.