A quarter of a million people have signed an online petition urging German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to stop increasing the flow of weapons to Ukraine and to push for a peaceful resolution of the conflict instead.
The petition, started on change.org by German politician Sahra Wagenknecht and journalist Alice Schwarzer, accrued over 250,000 signatures about two days since its creation.
Ukraine Is Going To End Up A Depopulated, Devastated Country
The petition’s authors argue that Ukraine is going to end up a “depopulated, devastated country” soon if the fighting there continues, and insist that Kiev has no chance of prevailing against the “world’s largest nuclear power.”
“We call on the Chancellor to stop the escalation in arms deliveries. Now! He should lead a strong alliance for a ceasefire and peace negotiations at both German and European level,” the petition states. “Now! Because every lost day costs up to 1,000 more human lives – and brings us closer to a 3rd World War.”
The petition also notes that negotiations do not equal surrender – rather, it means “making compromises on both sides” in order to prevent “hundreds of thousands more deaths and worse.”
“That is what we think too, and that is what half of the German population thinks,” the petition’s authors claim. “It’s time to listen to us!”
Having tweeted that “the Manifesto for Peace already has a quarter of a million supporters,” Wagenknecht also called upon people to join a protest in Berlin on February 25 “against armament deliveries and for peace and diplomacy.”
This development comes as Germany is poised to send Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine and is about to start training Ukrainian crews to operate these war machines.
UK, Ukraine Negotiating Arms Production In Ukraine
UK defense industry officials are discussing with their Ukrainian counterparts plans for the production of British weapons in Ukraine, which would mark the deepening of Kiev’s ties with both London and NATO, British newspaper reported on Sunday.
UK executives traveled to Ukraine with a view of creating joint ventures there that would produce weapons and vehicles locally under license, the report said.
In addition, the newspaper reported that other European armaments companies are also negotiating with Ukraine on the issue, and that UK companies do not want to lose to French and German competitors.
A British executive said there is a race to put the UK “at the front of the queue,” the newspaper said.
Ukraine used to produce some types of Israeli and U.S. small arms, such as rifles, under license, and adapted some of its tanks to incorporate Israeli electronics, the newspaper added.
According to the media, Kiev would like to produce Western-designed artillery, vehicles and weapons itself rather than buy them.
Since the beginning of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, Western countries have been supplying Kiev with various types of weapon systems, including air defense missiles, multiple launch rocket systems, tanks, self-propelled artillery and anti-aircraft guns.