Russia invades Ukraine: live updates

A demonstration in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on February 24 against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Hannibal Hanschek/Getty Images)

German lawmakers have criticized Chancellor Olaf Scholz for not cutting Russia off from its vital high-security payments network, Swift, in the latest round of European Union sanctions against Moscow.

German parliament member Norbert Röttgen of the Christian Democrats said on Twitter that cutting Russia off from the Swift system is the “severe sword” of sanctions, adding that “Russia’s exclusion of Russia must not fail now because of Germany!” “

This sentiment was shared with other German politicians. German Green MEP Jan-Philippe Albrecht wrote on Twitter on Thursday: “Russia must now be cut off from the SWIFT system!” “If Germany prevents this major punishment, the path will be ripe for Putin to expand his war in Europe,” he added.

Germany is Russia’s largest gas customer and has tried to keep Nord Stream 2 . pipeline outside world politics. On Tuesday, German Chancellor Olaf Schulz halted the approval process for Nord Stream 2 due to the Ukraine crisis.

Thousands are protesting: Meanwhile, thousands of people took to the streets of Berlin on Thursday night to show support for Ukraine, many of them carrying Ukrainian flags, a CNN team in the city reported.

About 2,500 people – including some Ukrainian expats living in Germany – gathered at the Brandenburg Gate, which was lit up in Ukraine’s national colors for a second night in a row, police said.

About 1,500 people also gathered outside the German chancellery.

Protesters were seen chanting “Stop with Ukraine” and “Stop Putin, stop the war.” Demonstrators carried placards reading, “Cut Swift, isolate Russia” and “Radical sanctions against Russia now.”

Police said about 150 protesters also gathered outside the Russian embassy.

Crowds also gathered in other German cities including Potsdam, Leipzig and Munich in a show of support as Moscow launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Thursday.

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