Former leader of the Nashi movement and former State Duma deputy Robert Schlegel received German citizenship this spring. This became known on December 2. Now he is in the state of Bhutan for scientific purposes. When the Daily Storm managed to contact the former people's deputy, he was in this country.
- German citizenship was obtained by you in the spring of 2019. And when did you clearly decide that you would leave Russia?
- About a year and a half ago.
- What influenced your final decision?
- Studying the history of my family. I am an ethnic German and for me it was important in the context of restoring justice in relation to my family - it is important that children grow up not only in Russian, but also in the German cultural environment. Plus the fact that I did not work anymore in government bodies.
“Why did you publicly announce this just now?”
- I did not announce. This colleagues, apparently, helped.
- What is behind your words “disappointed in politics”? Is this disappointment related to specific people, all state power, or to the general situation in Russia?
- This is due to politics as a kind of activity, not only in Russia. And this is a very individual thing, because it is superimposed on personal experience and perception.
- What is happening now with your position at Acronis? What do you expect from the investigation?
- I think it is important for the company that I answer in detail all the questions that arose in connection with the publication, and perhaps they still have some.
- How much did your spouse influence the decision to change citizenship? For example, you indicated that you did this, including for the sake of children.
- I think this is a very personal question.
- Has your attitude to the existing system in Russia changed?
- I do not have any relation to the system in Russia, as well as to the state system in any other country in the world. It is naive to believe that Russia is only politics. This is completely wrong, the same applies to other countries. Politics is often an important, but insignificant part of my life, at some point it simply became uninteresting to me and, probably, this is precisely the change in attitude.
- Do you plan as a German citizen to try yourself in local politics?
- God forbid!
- Aren't you afraid of persecution by Russia?
- Weird question.
- What could you say to your party members who continue to fight against the anti-Russian and Russophobic rhetoric directed, in their opinion, by the EU and the West as a whole?
- I would advise them to relax more often, spend more time with their family, think about their health, smile more - life is a rather short thing, and we often spend time on things that seem very important to us, but really aren't.
Recall that Robert Schlegel was born in 1984 in Ashgabat in a family of descendants of Volga Germans who were exiled to the Turkmen SSR. In 1998, he moved to Russia; in 2005, he joined the pro-Kremlin Nashi movement. Until 2007, he held the position of spokesperson in it. In 2010, he was elected federal commissioner of the movement.
In 2007, Schlegel was elected to the State Duma, at the age of 23 he became a deputy in the lower house of parliament. He became the youngest people's choice. The deputy worked for two terms, until 2016. In particular, he voted for the "Dima Yakovlev law", which prohibits foreigners from adopting orphans from Russia. He also introduced an amendment, which proposed not to extend the effect of the law to children with disabilities, but after numerous criticisms recalled it. Schlegel was the author of the request to investigate the financing of the Dozhd TV channel. In 2016, the deputy criticized the European Union for using “rhetoric bordering on Russophobia”.