The document co-authored by prominent left-wing politician Sahra Wagenknecht suggests weapons deliveries should stop FILE PHOTO. © THOMAS KIENZLE / AFP

Almost 500,000 Germans have supported a petition urging Chancellor Olaf Scholz to spearhead efforts for peace negotiations in Ukraine. The appeal is authored by journalist Alice Schwarzer and Sahra Wagenknecht, a prominent member of Germany’s Left Party (Die Linke), and implores officials in Berlin not to provide Kiev with more weapons.

The document, which was published last Friday and has since gathered an increasing number of supporters, claims that the conflict in Ukraine has already cost the lives of more than 200,000 military personnel and 50,000 civilians.

“If the fighting goes on like this, Ukraine will soon be a depopulated, destroyed country,” the authors warn. Wagenknecht and Schwarzer also argue that “a lot of people in Europe fear an expansion of the war.”

The petition asserts that Ukrainians need solidarity from Germany, but questions whether Berlin’s current policies truly reflect the support they require.

“What is now, one year on, the actual goal of this war?” the authors ask, citing German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock’s recent comment about Europe being at war with Russia.

No military winner likely in Ukraine conflict – top US general No military winner likely in Ukraine conflict – top US general

The petition expresses skepticism over whether Scholz’s government will keep its word and not provide Ukraine with fighter jets. According to Wagenknecht and Schwarzer, the German chancellor has already crossed multiple “red lines” in recent months.

The pair also warn that Russian President Vladimir Putin could unleash a “maximum counterstrike,” should Ukraine retake Crimea – which is among the goals set by senior officials in Kiev.

“Are we then inexorably sliding down a chute leading to a world war and nuclear war?” the petition asks, adding that numerous major conflicts have begun this way, and that another could end up being the last for mankind.

The petition stresses that “to negotiate doesn’t mean to capitulate,” but rather to “make compromises on both sides.” The authors claim that half of the German population wants immediate peace talks, and suggest that the government should heed their calls.

“We demand that the federal chancellor stop the escalation of weapons deliveries,” the document states, urging officials in Berlin to focus on peace efforts and form an international alliance to this end.

The petition had received 496,008 signatures at the time of writing.

Moscow has repeatedly signaled it is open to talks with Kiev, provided that Ukrainian leaders accept Russia’s conditions and recognize what the Kremlin calls the “reality on the ground.”

In early October 2022, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky ruled out negotiations with his Russian counterpart. Kiev is insisting on a military victory over Russia, and refuses to make any territorial concessions to its neighbor. (RT)