Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has been made chairman of the board of Russian state-owned oil giant Rosneft.
Schroeder was added to the company's board during a shareholders meeting in St. Petersburg on September 29. The meeting also expanded the board from nine members to 11 and added Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak as well.
Russia's Interfax news agency quoted Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin -- a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin -- as saying the addition of Schroeder would "allow the development of the company's European business and the expansion of its European footprint."
Rosneft is under European Union sanctions as punishment for Moscow's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region and its involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Schroeder also heads the shareholders board for the Nord Stream pipeline project, which brings Russian natural gas from Russia to Germany and is majority-owned by the Russian state-controlled gas giant Gazprom.
Based on reporting by dpa, Interfax, AP, and AFP