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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Davos meets with German leader at Gabfest

DAVOS, Switzerland ( Associated Press) — After discussions about Russia’s war in Ukraine, a global food crisis, climate change and other hot-button issues, the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum ended Thursday with one of the highest-profile guests Was about to happen. To visit Davos: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

The annual gathering of elites, twice suspended over the COVID-19 pandemic, has been battered by the war in Ukraine, spoiling the mood among policymakers, but advocacy groups and business leaders are hoping to improve fortunes. There’s no stopping it from trying and – as the forum’s organizers hope – the state of the world.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba and several lawmakers, local officials and business leaders captured the spotlight personally and virtually garnering support for their country’s grueling and precarious campaign to drive out Russian invaders. , who carried out bombings, explosions and barrages. Way to control a wide arc of eastern Ukraine since February 24.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s campaign has drawn international disdain and angered his allies, and as a result, Russian envoys of business and government, who have been a staple in Davos since the end of the Soviet Union, were not invited this year.

Scholz’s near-final address was getting attention this week for capping scores of panel discussions, speeches, coffee chats and other meetings—mostly to see if he would be involved in Ukraine’s two major appeals. Could try to answer: for stronger sanctions against Russia and better weapons to help its military fight.

Kuleba expressed little hope that the war could end through negotiations, or even end, any time soon.

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“The moment Russia agrees to a ceasefire will be one step away from losing the war,” he told reporters late Wednesday. “They (the Russians) will agree to a ceasefire with only one purpose: to save themselves from being defeated in the war. Until then this war will continue.”

Kuleba has pressured Ukraine to supply weapons such as multiple-launch rocket systems for Western powers and has pointed to a “saga” about receiving Gepard tanks from Germany, among other things by his government. Berlin has discussed.

“We clearly understand that Germany will not be the country that will lead the process of supplying Ukraine with the heavy weapons we need,” Kuleba said. “Let’s make it clear: If we don’t get heavy weapons, we get killed.”

The result of Ukraine’s efforts is to rally countries around an emerging democracy with ambitions to join the European Union – the free-world and free-market club – in the face of attack by a Russian regime that closes in on dissent. And centralizing power is one man: Putin.

Meanwhile, a deadly school shooting in Texas on Tuesday was on the minds of many in Davos. More broadly, the fight against global warming, rising food and fuel costs around the world, and cyberattacks by hackers in Russia and beyond have exposed how progressive leaders of civil society, corporations, and government have come together in crisis. have struggled to cope in a world of face to face.

A major theme concerns Russia blocking ports in Ukraine, preventing significant stocks of wheat, barley and sunflower oil from entering the world, and threatening food insecurity in countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The European Union and the United States have accused Russia of using the food supply as a weapon and there has been talk of opening safe shipping corridors.

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Russian officials are blaming Western sanctions or Ukraine’s mines at sea.

“This food crisis is real and we must find a solution,” WTO Director-General Ngoji Okonjo-Iwela told a trade panel.

Davos once again brainstormed ideas from innovators and executives, but putting them into practice may take time – and it may not happen at all. The meeting is above all a conversation, and there have been few concrete, high-profile achievements and announcements this year.

Former US Vice President Al Gore, a leading crusader against climate change, railed briefly against failed attempts at gun control in the United States before trumpeting a new system to monitor greenhouse gas emissions by satellite. He said this would increase the scrutiny and transparency needed by businesses around the world about the burning of carbon and other planet-warming gases.

Gore, who shared the Nobel Peace Prize with the United Nations’ top body on climate science for his work on climate change, pointed to an initiative known as Climate Trace, which provides algorithms on emissions hotspots around the world. And combines more than 300 satellites with machine learning to create zero. , It is expected to release results from the 500 largest sources of emissions in October.

“We are about to enter an era of radical transparency,” he said.

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Associated Press journalists Peter Prengman and Calvin Chan contributed from Davos.

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