Davos day one: Ukrainian MPs call for more support as WEF begins – business live | Davos 2022

Normally Davos is all about finance, trade and energy. Now the very first session of the WEF is about sanctions. Says everything about the world today. pic.twitter.com/Asd6RIiAKa

— Bill Browder (@Billbrowder) May 23, 2022


Normally Davos is all about finance, trade and energy. Now the very first session of the WEF is about sanctions. Says everything about the world today. pic.twitter.com/Asd6RIiAKa

– Bill Browder (@Billbrowder) May 23, 2022

How things change. Usually the big opening sessions in #Davos #wef are about banks, financial markets and international trade. This year first in the menu: #sanctions pic.twitter.com/r5EIjthbO0

— Federico Fubini (@federicofubini) May 23, 2022


Rupert Neate

Rupert Neate

The fortunes of food and energy billionaires have grown by $ 453bn over the past two years owing to soaring energy and commodity prices during the pandemic and Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, a report by Oxfam has revealed.

As the world’s business and political elite meet for the World Economic Forum in DavosSwitzerland, the development charity said spiralling global food prices had helped create “62 new food billionaires” in just 24 months.

IMF head warns of ‘biggest test since second world war’

IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva has warned that the global economy could be facing its biggest test since the Second World War.

At the start of DavosGeorgieva called for a fight against geoeconomic defragmentation, and identifies four ‘urgent issues’.

One is the possible creation of a ‘public digital platform’ to make it cheaper to transfer money between borders, along with cutting trade barriers, progress on debt relief, and accelerating climate change work.

Georgieva writes:

First, strengthen trade to increase resilience.

We can start now by lowering trade barriers to alleviate shortages and lower the prices of food and other products.

Not only countries but also companies need to diversify imports — to secure supply chains and preserve the tremendous benefits to business of global integration. While geostrategic considerations will drive some sourcing decisions, this need not lead to disintegration. Business leaders have an important role to play in this regard.

New IMF research shows that diversification can cut potential GDP losses from supply disruptions in half. Auto manufacturers and others have found that designing products that can use substitutable or more widely available parts can reduce losses by 80 percent.

Diversifying exports can also increase economic resilience. Policies that help include: enhancing infrastructure to help businesses shorten supply chains, increasing broadband access, and improving the business environment. The WTO can also help with its overall support for more predictable, transparent trade policies.

Second, step up joint efforts to deal with debt.

With roughly 60 percent of low-income countries with significant debt vulnerabilities, some will need debt restructuring. Without decisive cooperation to ease their burdens, both they and their creditors will be worse off. But a return to debt sustainability will draw new investment and spur inclusive growth.

That is why the Group of Twenty’s Common Framework for Debt Treatment must be improved without delay. This means putting in place clear procedures and timelines for debtors and creditors — and making the framework available to other highly-indebted vulnerable countries.

Third, modernize cross-border payments .

Inefficient payment systems are another barrier to inclusive growth. Take remittances: the average cost of an international transfer is 6.3 percent. This means some $ 45 billion per year are diverted into the hands of intermediaries — and away from millions of lower-income households.

A possible solution? Countries could work together to develop a global public digital platform—A new piece of payment infrastructure with clear rules — so that everyone can send money at minimal cost and maximum speed and safety. It could also connect various forms of money, including central bank digital currencies.

Fourth, confront climate change: the existential challenge that looms above everything .

During the COP26 climate conference, 130 countries, representing over 80 percent of global emissions, committed to achieve net-zero carbon by around mid-century.

But we urgently need to close the gap between ambition and policy. To accelerate the green transition, the IMF has argued for a comprehensive approach that combines carbon pricing and investment in renewables, and compensation for those adversely affected.

Ivana Kylmpush-Tsintsadze MP has also said she will be urging states, including Germany, to boycott Russian gas and oil.

She told Sky News:

“If you are paying Russian companies for their oil and gas you are giving them resources to continue destroying our towns, our villages, killing our children, raping our women, elderly, babies, toddlers and destroying our country.”

Ukraine's message to Davos: Buying Russian gas funds rape and murder pic.twitter.com/KA1zJvevyG

— Paul Kelso (@pkelso) May 22, 2022


MP: Victory means full restoration of our territorial integrity

The Ukrainian MPs in Davos also explained that winning the war means restoring all the territory lost to Russia.

THEvanna Klympush-Tsintsadze MP explained she doesn’t understand why Crimea should be seen differently than any other part of Ukrainian territory.

She said the world reacted with “pitiful sanctions” in 2014, warning that if any Ukrainian land is left under Russian control, it will be used by Russia as a platform for future attacks.

International law, respect of borders, means victory means full restoration of our territorial integrity, sovereigny and independence.

It also sends an important signal to other dictatorial systems across the globe, she says.

Yevheniya Kravchuk MP gave a pithy response to this question too:

Just imagine from your perspective, someone tells you that you have to give part of London to Russia because there are so many Russians in London.

There is a bully in the room, they have to be punished, she added.

Yesterday Ukraine’s presidential chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, also said Ukraine will not agree to any ceasefire deal that would involve handing over territory to Russia.

Yermak said in a Twitter post:

The war must end with the complete restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Introduction: Ukrainian MPs call for tougher sanctions on Russia, and NATO-style heavy weaponry

Ukrainian members of parliament Yevheniya Kravchuk, Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Anastasiia Radina, Alyona Shkrum, and Yulia Klymenko speak at a media reception at the 51st annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, 22 May 2022.
Ukrainian members of parliament Yevheniya Kravchuk, Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Anastasiia Radina, Alyona Shkrum, and Yulia Klymenko speaking last night. Photograph: Gian Ehrenzeller / EPA

Good morning from Davoswhere the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum gets underway today.

The Ukraine war takes center stage at Davos this year, along with the global food crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic.

And five Ukrainian MPs are calling for more humanitarian, financial and weaponry support to win the conflict.

Yevheniya Kravchuk MP explained why Ukraine needs military and financial suport, and tougher sanctions on Russia, if it is to prevail:

That is the only way to stop the atrocities, that happened in Bucha, that happened in Borodyanka, in other small villages in Keiv region. But the same atrocities are happening right now in the occupied territories.

Ukraine will win if it gets enough weapons, enough financial support, and sanctions on Russia that will be really, really harmful, so that Putin will not continue this war or starting any other wars in this world.

THEvanna Klympush-Tsintsadze MP said Vladimir Putin had underestimated spirit of Ukrainian people, its armed forces and whole society – and also the reaction of the West.

Our major request to the whole world is do not stop backing Ukraine.

Only by stopping Russian forces on the “painful, bleeding battlefield” today will mean this war will not spill over to other regions, she explained.

“Otherwise we will see the unfortunate consequence, and we have to be aware of those.”

Klympush-Tsintsadze added the Russian Federation has to be defeated, isolated and punished through international tribunals such as the ICC, and brought to a point where it cannot wage war on anybody else in the future.

Anastasia Radina MPwho heads the Ukraine parliament’s anti-corruption committee, also spoke, said Ukraine needs “NATO-style heavy weaponry”.

Ensuring that Ukraine receives a proper supply of counter-offensive heavy weapons is the only way to ensure Ukraine exists, wins, and have a meaningful discussion of other issues such as other issues such as anti-corruption work, or the economy.

A total oil and gas embargo was also on the table, Radina added, saying it was “totally unacceptable” that over 70% of Russia’s energy revenues since the war started came from the European Union.

Alyona Shkrum MP explained everything Davos was trying to build over decades, such as democracy, values, green economy, more involvment of people around world, was under attack by Putin.

And finally, Yulia Klymenko MP said the war was about values, about food security, and about the global order, and that some European politicians had allowed thenselves to become ‘economic slaves of Russia’, unable to turn off its oil and gas.

They’ll be taking this message to leaders and business chiefs here in Davos this week.

Ukrainian members of parliament Yevheniya Kravchuk, Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Anastasiia Radina, Alyona Shkrum, and Yulia Klymenko.
Ukrainian members of parliament Yevheniya Kravchuk, Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Anastasiia Radina, Alyona Shkrum, and Yulia Klymenko. Photograph: Gian Ehrenzeller / EPA

Later this morning, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy will address Davos by videolink, at 11.15am Davos time (10.15am BST).

Throughout the week, more than 50 heads of state or government will be among the 2,500 delegates.

Major names speaking over the next few days include Germany’s chancellor, Olaf Scholz, IMF management director Kristalina Georgieva, European Union chief Ursula von der Leyen, NATO head Jens Stoltenberg and US climate envoy John Kerry.

Yesterday, a group of millionaires have joined protests against the World Economic Forum gathering of the business and political elite in DavosSwitzerland, demanding that governments “tax us now” to tackle the burgeoning gulf between rich and poor.

The unlikely protesters, who describe themselves as “Patriotic millionaires”called on world leaders attending the annual conference on Sunday to immediately introduce fresh taxes on the wealthy in order to tackle the “cost of living scandal playing out in multiple nations around the world”.

There’s a lot going on this week, but here’s some of the events to watch out for today.

The agenda

  • 8.45am Davos (7.45am BST): Panel on the use and effectiveness of sanctions
  • 9.45am Davos (8.45am BST): Energy outlook: Overcoming the crisis
  • 11.15am Davos (10.15am BST): Special address by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy
  • 12.30pm Davos (11.30am BST): A Discussion with Vitaliy and Wladimir Klitschko
  • 1pm Davos (noon BST): Averting a global food crisis
  • 2pm Davos (1pm BST): Special Address by Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar.
  • 4.30pm Davos (3.30pm BST): Global Economic Outlook panal

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