Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and the CEO of the shelved Nord Stream 2 project Matthias Warnig resigned Friday from the board of directors of Russia’s state-owned oil giant Rosneft amid pressure over the war in Ukraine.
“Gerhard Schroeder and Matthias Warnig have informed [us] of the impossibility of extending their service on the company’s Board of Directors,” said a statement published on Rosneft’s website.
“We understand their decision and thank them for their continued support.”
Long-term friends of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Schroeder and Warnig have come under fire for refusing to sever ties with Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.
In addition to Rosneft, Schroeder is chairman of the shareholders' committee of the company in charge of building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Germany and Russia, and has been nominated to join the board of state-owned gas giant Gazprom.
The European Parliament on Wednesday threatened to include Schroeder on a list of individuals sanctioned by the European Union.
And the German government echoed the bloc’s move by moving to deny Schroeder access to state-funded office space and employees in the German parliament.
An former spy for the Communist state in East Germany, Matthias Warnig is now the head of the multi-billion-dollar Nord Stream 2 pipeline. He also sits on the boards of several other major Russian companies, including oil pipeline monopoly Transneft and state-owned bank VTB.
Warnig joined the Rosneft board in 2012, while Schroeder was made chairman in 2017.
Five foreign vice presidents of Rosneft have left the company as a result of Western sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reported Friday.