Germany's former Chancellor says we must not cut Russia off as he boasts of friendship with Putin

Gerhard Schroeder (second from left) with Vladimir Putin
Gerhard Schroeder (second from left) with Vladimir Putin

Gerhard Schroeder added that "many mistakes" have been made by both sides

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Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has urged European countries not to cut their ties with Russia despite its launched attack on Ukraine.

Schroeder, who has described himself as a friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, added that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine should end as soon as possible.

"There have been many mistakes - on both sides. But Russia's security interests do not justify the use of military means either," Schroeder said on LinkedIn.

"With the necessary sanctions, care must be taken not to completely cut the remaining political, economic and civil society ties that exist between Europe and Russia”.

Western countries are continuing to draw up sanctions on Russia following the attack, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing a raft of new measures in the House of Commons.

Meanwhile, the EU have revealed a second package that will "severely" hit Russia's economy, EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said.

Von der leyen said the measures would increase capital outflow, raise inflation and gradually erode Russia's industrial basis.

Ukraine has urged countries to seek the strongest possible sanctions on Russia, which include a halt on buying Russian gas and oil, as well as Russia being blocked from swift payments and disconnected from the Visa and Mastercard systems.