Steinmeier, Frank-Walter, 1956–, German politician. A member of the center-left Social Democratic party, he worked for the Lower Saxony chancellery when Gerhard Schröder was premier and served as Schröder's chief of staff (1999–2005) when he became German chancellor. Steinmeier was foreign minister twice (2005–9, 2013–17) and vice chancellor (2007–9) in coalition governments led by Angela Merkel . As foreign minister he worked with Russian and Ukrainian leaders to diffuse tensions during the Ukraine crisis that began in 2015. In 2017 he was elected to the largely ceremonial office of German president, succeeding Joachim Gauck .
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