The co-leader of a new German left-wing populist party on Saturday called on the government to negotiate with Russia to halt the war in Ukraine.

Addressing 450 founding members of the radical party named after her, Sahra Wagenknecht urged Berlin to stop supplying arms to Kyiv.

"We are delivering arms to Ukraine for a victory in which, alas, even the Ukrainian generals no longer believe," Wagenknecht said.

"This war must be brought to and end and very quickly through negotiations," she said to applause inside the former Kosmos cinema on Berlin's Karl Marx Avenue.

The Sahra Wagenknecht Alliance (BWS) for reason and justice -- the party's full name -- was launched on January 8 and built around the charismatic 54-year-old from the former communist East German city of Jena.


Last October Wagenknecht and nine colleagues quit the far-left Die Linke party which disbanded its parliamentary faction amid internal splits.

The European elections, to be held on June 9, and ballots in three eastern regions of Germany now beckon for Wagenknecht's new alliance.

The far-right Alternative For Germany AfD party is riding high in opinion polls with its anti-immigrant rhetoric.

Wagenknecht remained a Communist after the fall of the Berlin Wall and shares with many east Germans a distrust of the West, blaming Ukraine for Russia's invasion.

She had tried at the end of 2018 to launch a similar movement as the new alliance, but gave up after six months.

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Zelensky urged the UK to help boost Ukraine's "long-range capability," saying lifting restrictions on Western weapons would allow Ukraine to better defend against Russian offensives.

This time, she may be able to take advantage of the growing polarisation of German society and the drop in support for Chancellor Olaf Scholz's government amid an economic downturn.

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