Schroeder said Russia should explain the attack on Navalny by the use of poison, but this did not give the opposition the right to make unfounded accusations.
The Chancellor said he was suing Bild for spreading the charges without asking for his own comments.
Meanwhile, Norbert Retgen, chairman of the Bundestag’s foreign affairs committee, accused Schroeder of wanting to “smooth out” the situation with Navalny in an interview with Bild on Thursday.
According to Retgen, Schroeder, who receives money for working for Russia’s oil and gas business, is an accomplice in the “hiding of responsibility” in the case of Navalny. He pointed out that he had tried to kill Navalny with combatants, but many Germans were ashamed of Schroeder’s behavior.
Retgens also said it was necessary to impose sanctions on Putin’s immediate circle and specifically on those directly responsible for the crime.
In an interview with Bild, Navalny said Schroeder received secret payments from Putin, but admitted he had no evidence.
In an interview, Navalny accused Schröder of defending the murderers and accepting money from Putin, and called Schröder a “deportable boy”.
“Gerhard Schroeder is being paid by Putin,” Navalny told Bild in a German newspaper on Wednesday. “But if he’s now also trying to deny this poisoning attack, it’s really very disappointing.”
Navalny is recovering in Germany after being poisoned by a nerve-paralyzing warrior from the Novichok group in Siberia in August. He accuses Putin of ordering this poisoning attack, but the Russian government has denied any involvement in it.
In his podcast at the end of September, Schröder condemned the call to suspend the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project due to the poisoning of Navalny, stating that “one has nothing to do with the other”.
Schroeder, who is chairman of the shareholders’ committee of the Russian-German gas pipeline company Nord Stream and chairman of the board of directors of the Russian energy company Rosneft, said that Russia’s involvement in the poisoning of Navalny has not been proven.
According to Schröder, the current discussions on possible sanctions against Russia are based on speculation, not “hard facts”.
“However, he is the former chancellor of Europe’s most powerful country. Now he is a boy to be deported by Putin, he defends the murderers,” Navalny said.
The Social Democrat Schröder, who served as German Chancellor from 1998 to 2005, worked closely with Putin and is still his friend. After leaving politics, Schroeder works in Russia’s energy business.
On August 20, Navalny was ill during a flight from Tomsk to Moscow, the pilot made an emergency landing at Omsk airport, and Navalny was taken unconscious to Omsk Hospital with signs of poisoning. On August 22, Navalni was transferred from Russia to Germany, where he was treated by the Charite Clinic of the University of Berlin.
As the German government said on September 2, there is incontrovertible evidence that Navalny has been poisoned by a nerve-paralyzing warfare substance belonging to the Novichok group.
On September 22, Navalni was discharged from a Berlin hospital but will remain in Germany until the end of a rehabilitation course that could take several weeks.