Zelensky Says Ukraine Ready to Join WEF Meeting in Davos as It Seeks Postwar Funding
When the global elites of business, finance, banking, and big government convene in Davos next month at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting, Ukraine will be amongst them.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed Wednesday his government will be at the meeting in Switzerland, revealing he also spoke again with BlackRock Inc CEO Larry Fink about financing the postwar rebuilding effort.
“Specialists of this company are already helping Ukraine to structure the fund for the reconstruction of our state,” Zelensky, who had a video call with Fink in September, said in his evening address to the nation, according to Bloomberg.
He didn’t say whether he would attend the January 16-20 WEF in person or participate virtually, although in the past he has been a regular attendee at the elite gathering.
Bloomberg reports Zelensky also said he spoke to Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and raised the prospect of Italy contributing to the strengthening of Ukraine’s air defences.
Zelensky made an appearance via video at the last meeting back in May when he compared his country to Israel in conversation with WEF boss Klaus Schwab.
The Ukrainian leader told the Davos organiser that, whatever happens in the present conflict, “with a neighbour like this” — namely Russia — “anything can happen anytime, and the war may repeat itself,” as Breitbart News reported.
Zelensky said that, over the longer term, the Ukrainian government would have to “create such conditions that people and businesses would not be afraid to exist in this country, to thrive in this country.”
He then asked the gathering to consider the “example of Israel”, which finds itself in a similarly hostile environment — but has managed to establish itself as a relatively prosperous economy with a thriving tech industry despite existing in a near-constant state of low-level conflict, or worse.
Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF had earlier greeted members with the salute: “the future is built by us… by a powerful community… as you here in this room.”
“History at a Turning Point: Government and Business Strategies” was the theme for the 2022 edition of the 51-year-old NGO lobbying organization founded by the German engineer and economist.
The WEF annual meeting for 2023 will take place in Davos, Klosters from 16-20 January.
The theme of the meeting is “Cooperation in a Fragmented World” and some 2,500 people are expected to fly in from around the world to talk as they discuss the future of the planet.