Despite Putin ties: Germany's SPD decides to keep Gerhard Schröder - DW News.

Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD) decided not to expel former chancellor Gerhard Schröder on Monday.

Schröder has been under fire for his close ties to the Kremlin and the Russian energy sector since Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine in February.

A party arbitration committee noted that any disciplinary action must be prompted by a violation of the SPD's "statutes, principles, or rules" which would then allow the committee to decide whether such a violation has caused serious damage to the party.

In their statement, the committee said it would be "incompatible with an SPD membership" to call for a war of aggression or to justify an invasion. However, according to the party arbiters, Schröder has not done so.

"Rather, on the day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, [Schröder] declared that Russia's security interests did not justify the use of military means," they said.

While it would have been "desirable and appropriate" for Schröder to take a clearer stance, the committee found that his statement was not too far removed from the SPD's political program.

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