Germany must change tack and call for diplomatic talks to end the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the AfD leader in Saxony’s regional parliament, Jörg Urban, said on Thursday.
In a parliamentary debate entitled, “Committed to peace! Diplomacy instead of weapons!” Urban told regional lawmakers on Thursday that the continuous arms deliveries by Germany and its Western allies to Kyiv were only perpetuating the war and insisted that diplomatic dialogue with Russia was now the best way forward to mitigate the loss of life.
“We don’t want hundreds of thousands of people to die, tens of thousands of civilians to die, and a country to be completely ruined,” said Urban, adding that German taxpayers are financing the conflict to a “considerable extent” and insisting the current situation is unsustainable.
The AfD parliamentary leader also expressed concern about the arms and funds being provided to Kyiv to preserve the country’s economy and rebuild its infrastructure, calling Ukraine “the most corrupt state in Europe.”
He questioned the extent to which democracy existed in the country, claiming all opposition parties are banned and freedom of expression is limited. “Alternative media and media critical of the government no longer exist in Ukraine,” he added.
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The left faction in the regional parliament agreed with the rejection of arms deliveries to Ukraine, German newspaper Zeit reported. The parliamentary group leader of the left, Rico Gebhardt, insisted there should be “no hot NATO war against Russia,” referencing perhaps Germany’s federal Foreign Affairs Minister Annalena Baerbock who claimed last month that Europe as a collective is at war with Russia.
Gebhardt insisted the debate in the regional parliament, proposed by AfD, and the concerns over continuous arms deliveries to Kyiv are “legitimate and not Kremlin propaganda.”
Despite growing calls across the West for peace talks between the two warring nations, including an intervention from former U.S. President Donald Trump earlier this week, the European Commission on Thursday promised further military, financial, and political aid to Kyiv ahead of the first anniversary of the Russian invasion on Feb. 24.
More than €60 billion have now been earmarked in aid to Ukraine by the European Union, including almost €12 billion worth of military support and €18 billion to ensure the running of the country this year.