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Davos day one: Zelenskiy calls for maximum sanctions against Russia; recession fears on the rise – business live

That is probably all for today.... here’s our news story on the main news event of the day, president Zelenskiy’s speech:

And some background reading about how Davos isn’t quite the same this year.

We’ll be back tomorrow. GW


Finishing on a positive note, David Rubenstein argues that the current crisis is a less serious economic shock than the Covid-19 crisis, the financial crisis, or the dot-com bust.

It’ll be a mild recession, if it’s a recession, he says. [actually, he’s been using ‘banana’ for ‘recession’, echoing an advisor to President Carter who didn’t want to scare the electorate].

Onto the crypto crash, and David Rubenstein makes a salient point:

And on the turmoil in stablecoins, Georgieva says that when a stablecoin is backed 1-to-1 with its underlying asset, then it’s stable. If not, then it’s a pyramid - and pyramids eventually collapse.

Regulating the stablecoins, ensuring interoperability of CBDC’s (central bank digital currencies) is something we need to work on, she adds.

Here’s a video clip of IMF chief Kristaline Georgieva warning a few minutes ago that 2022 will be a tough year (as it has been already!).

She also points out that the oil price dipped in the last week on signs of economic slowdown, but food kept rising.

That’s because you can shrink petrol use when growth slows, but people still have to eat every day.

Billionaire businessman David Rubenstein tells the Global Economic Outlook panel that the markets have overreacted this year, with Wall Street tumbling to around bear market territory.

And he denies that the slump in technology stocks this year is a repeat of the dot-com crash in 2000.

Back then, companies with little more than a business plan, without revenues let alone profits, had floated in the dot-com boom. It’s not the same situation today.

IMF managing director Kristaline Georgieva adds that two countries are already in recesssion -- Ukraine (which could contract by 35% this year), and Russia.

Others, such as Sri Lanka, have been caught up in debt crisis due to the shocks from the war.

Citigroup's Fraser: Europe will enter recession

A Davos panel on the global economic outlook is also underway.

And it starts with a show of hands -- how many of the “brains trust at the World Economic Forum” are concerned that we are going into recession?

About half the hands in the room go up.

Q: So are we already in recession in some countries?

International Monetary Fund chief Kristalina Georgieva says not, but warns that the economic outlook has darkened since the IMF’s last forecasts.

She cites the food crisis, saying that anxiety over access to food at a reasonable price, globally, is hitting the roof.

Plus, the climate crisis has gone nowhere and the digital money has hit a little rough spot (the slump in cryptocurrency assets).

Looking ahead, Georgieva says we may see recessions in some countries which were weak, perhaps hadn’t recovered from the pandemic, or very dependent on Russian oil.

But we have not seen that yet, she insists.

However, Jane Fraser, CEO of Citigroup is also on the panel, and she warns that Russia, Recession and (interest) Rates are the key factors to watch.

Asked if Europe will experience a recession, Fraser replies Yes, adding that she hopes she’s wrong.

[On rates, European Central Bank Christine Lagarde said today the ECB is likely to start raising interest rates in July and exit sub-zero territory by the end of September.

That made the ECN the latest central banker to turn more hawkish, in the face of high inflation].

More from the panel:


Fifa President Gianni Infantino, center, former Brazilian soccer player Ronaldo, right, and Swiss soccer coach Arsene Wenger at the World Economic Forum in Davos today
Fifa President Gianni Infantino, center, former Brazilian soccer player Ronaldo, right, and Swiss soccer coach Arsene Wenger at the World Economic Forum in Davos today Photograph: Markus Schreiber/AP

With the World Cup in Qatar looming at the end of the year, the event had its own session in Davos.

A feisty affair with over the top tackles it was not, as the panel dished out platitude after platitude.

Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, said five billion people would tune in and it would be the “best World Cup ever”.

Patrice Motsepe, president of the Confederation of African Football, said he couldn’t think of a better place to hold the World Cup.

Ronaldo, the Brazilian striker, said it was marvelous he was a role model to today’s superstars. Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger spent a couple of minutes talking about how good coaching was about getting the best out of people.

Nobody was going to get into trouble mentioning the circumstances under which Qatar was awarded the right to hold the tournament or the deaths of workers on the construction sites.

Qatar Amir blames discrimination for World Cup criticism

The Amir of the State of Qatar, Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, has hit out at criticism over its hosting of the World Cup late this year.

In a keynote speech here in Davos, the Amir says the Middle East has suffered from discrimination for decades - from people “not knowing us, and in some cases refusing to get to know us”.

He says:

Even today there are still people who cannot accept the idea that an Arab Muslim country would host a tournament like the World Cup.

He adds:

These individuals, including many in positions of influence, have launched attacks at a pace not seen before when a mega sporting event was hosted by other countries on different continents,

He doesn’t say any particular countries, but that “each had its own particular problems and challenges”.

However.... concerns over human rights protections in Qatar are well documented, with Amnesty reporting that tens of thousands of migrant workers still face “forced labour”.

Last year, the Guardian reported that more than 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have died in Qatar since it won the right to host the World Cup 10 years ago.

And last week, a group of non-government organisations said Fifa should pay reparations of at least $440m (£356m) to migrant workers whose human rights have been compromised by the Qatar World Cup.

Plus, there are also concerns about the safety of LGBTQ+ people in Qatar, given same-sex relationships are directly criminalised under the laws of the Gulf state.

World 'on cusp of vicious cycle'

The economic disruption caused by Covid-19 and the Ukraine war will drive up inflation, hit growth and create more food insecurity, a new survey just released show.

The World Economic Forum’s Community of Chief Economists predicts further declines in real wages in both high- and low-income economies, as inflation rises faster than pay.

The world faces the worst food insecurity in recent history – especially in the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Developing economies face trade-offs between the risk of debt crisis and securing food and fuel, it adds, (as Sri Lanka showed by defaulting last week).

Saadia Zahidi, managing director at the World Economic Forum, warns the world is on “the cusp of a vicious cycle” that could impact societies for years, and erase the progress since the end of the cold war.

The pandemic and war in Ukraine have fragmented the global economy and created far-reaching consequences that risk wiping out the gains of the last 30 years.

Leaders face difficult choices and trade-offs domestically when it comes to debt, inflation and investment. Yet business and government leaders must also recognise the absolute necessity of global cooperation to prevent economic misery and hunger for millions around the world.

Oxfam: Developed world's complacency over Covid could be deadly

Gabriela Bucher, executive director of Oxfam, says developed economies are neglecting the Covid-19 crisis in emerging economies - with potentially deadly results.

Bucher tells a Davos panel that vaccine injustice is a risk.

The rich world moves on, thinking that Covid is no longer a problem as they are vaccinated. So they forget that global south still faces waves of the virus, and low vaccination rates (just 15% across Africa).

She says:

The focus moves away and that is not addressed.

Bucher explains that the vaccine isn’t yet readily available globally at the scale needed. That means that... six months, the complacency that is perhaps felt now could be really deadly.

Moderna’s CEO, Stéphane Bancel, agrees that there are several reasons to worry, both in the south and the north.

In the US, only half of vaccinated people got boosted with a third dose, so he worries about the next fall (autumn) and winter as their antibody levels falls.

China’s outbreaks are a concern too; a more infectious virus is harder to control with the measures which were very successful in 2020.

We always need to be humble with biology - and remember that a more virulent virus could emerge over time, says Bancel.

It was good news that Omicron was less virulent than Delta, but “we are always a day away, a week away, a month away or a quarter away” from a new variant that’s more virulent.


Michael McCaul, Republican congressman, has warned that the Ukraine conflict could lead to a new ‘hot war’ between Russia and the West.

Speaking on a panel here in Davos, McCaul says Russia’s tactics have been almost World War Two-style, and that the US military have been astonished by how incompetent Russia’s military have been.

Putin has totally miscalculated, he says, having lost a third of its invasion force.

But warning that the conflict could escalate, McCaul (who represents Texas’ 10th Congressional District) says:

It’s a cold war, but it’s on the verge of becoming a hot war.

He points out that Putin has now brought in the “Butcher of Syria” (General Aleksandr Dvornikov) and put him in charge of the war.

McCaul says the biggest concern is that the Butcher of Syria could use chemical weapons, or a tactical nuclear weapon.

We need to think about how NATO, and the world, would respond if that happened, he adds.

Ian Bremmer of Eurasia Group is also on the panel, which asks if a new Cold War is taking shape between major powers.

Bremmer says we are in a new cold war, and closer to a new hot war than he’d like.

But while there has been a ‘forced decoupling’, putting Russia into a lot of trouble and a pariah state with the West, it is not a pariah for countries such as India, China, and Brazil.

Ukrainian MP Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze says the conflict is between ‘world and anti-world’, and that Ukraine needs more sanctions, more weapons, more backing.

WFP head: Failure to reopen Ukraine's ports if 'declaration of war' on food security

The head of the UN World Food Programme says failure to break open Ukraine’s blockaded ports is “a declaration of war on global food security”.

He warned it would lead to rising hunger, and increased migration to Europe.

David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Programme, told a panel here that:

“Failure to open up Ukraine’s ports is a declaration of war on global food security.”

Opening the ports would be one step in progress towards food stability. Beasley said, giving a stark warning to European countries about the implications of people going hungry.

“You don’t need to worry just about what’s happening to the east of you, you also need to worry about what’s happening to the south of you.

Every 1% increase in hunger leads to a 2% increase in migration.”

The energy security crisis since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine must not lead to a deeper dependence on fossil fuels, International Energy (IEA) chief Fatih Birol has warned.

Speaking here in Davos, Birol told a panel that:

“We need fossil fuels in the short term, but let’s not lock in our future by using the current situation as an excuse to justify some of the investments being done, time-wise it doesn’t work and morally in my view it doesn’t work as well.

Instead, he argues, correct investments, especially in renewable energy and nuclear power, mean the world need not choose between being short of energy, and higher fossil fuel emissions driving climate change.

Elsewhere in Davos, the head of chipmaker Intel has said a shortage of advanced equipment to make semiconductors could hold up global expansion plans, Associated Press reports:

CEO Pat Gelsinger said Monday that there have been “quite significant extensions” in delivery times for chipmaking gear for new chip factories, known as “fabs,” that the company plans to build in the U.S. and Europe.

Gelsinger said at a press roundtable on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum that “to us, this is now the No. 1 issue, is in fact the delivery of equipment.”

A handful of suppliers make high-tech semiconductor manufacturing gear, such as Dutch company ASML. A shortage of semiconductors that erupted last year hurt the availability of everything from autos to kitchen appliances and highlighted the industry’s vulnerability to manufacturing centered in Asia.

Intel announced tens of billions of investment in new chipmaking facilities for Europe, including a new fab mega site in Germany and expansion in Ireland. In January, it announced a plan for a $20 billion plant in Ohio.

Gelsinger said supply of chipmaking equipment is “the most important pinch point to the build-out of capacity today.”

He added that he’s urging authorities in the U.S. and Europe, which have each launched their own “Chips Act” to promote national semiconductor manufacturing, to speed up the legislation.

Key event

Winnie Byanyima, once the head of Oxfam International and now the executive director of UNAIDS has some tough words to say about the way the world has responded to the global pandemic.

“The impact of Covid 19 was racist and sexist”, she said. “That’s how it is felt by people in the global south.”

Byanyima said girls were removed from schools as a result of the pandemic and never returned, and gender-based violence increased..

Meanwhile, there was a massive disparity between the 75% vaccination rates of developed countries and the 15% vaccine rates in Africa.

“Africa was at the back of the queue while rich countries helped themselves to stocks of personal protective equipment and treatments. If that’s not racist, what is?”.

The Davos meeting, she added, was supposed to be about recovery from the health and economic crises of the past two years.

“But you are not going to tackle those issues without tackling the inequality crisis”

Byanyima called for a three-point programme to address global inequality: more generous debt relief; the re-cycling of special drawing rights (the global reserve assets issues by the IMF) to benefit poor nations; and changes to intellectual property rights to allow developing countries to manufacture their own Covid drugs.

“We can’t pretend we are on a path of recovery until we address these global structural barriers that are driving racial and geographic inequality.”

Stressing that another pandemic in the future was highly probable, Byanyima said: “We are learning nothing and it’s depressing”.

Klitschkos: Ukraine is fighting for you

Wladimir Klitschko (L), Ukrainian former professional boxer and businessman, and his brother Vitali Klitschko (R), Mayor of Kyiv.
Wladimir Klitschko (L), Ukrainian former professional boxer and businessman, and his brother Vitali Klitschko (R), Mayor of Kyiv. Photograph: Laurent Gilliéron/EPA

Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko and brother Wladimir are addressing the World Economic Forum about the crisis.

Vitali contrasts the peaceful, sunny atmosphere here in Davos with the conflict 2,000 kilometres from here, where he explains people are dying every day in a senseless war because of Putin’s vision to rebuild the Soviet Union.

Ukraine is fighting for other countries as well as itself, and paying the biggest price in human lives, he says, explaining that “we are fighting, first of all, for values”.

Echoing the message we heard from Ukrainian MPs last night, he says that support is needed, and that weapons are “very important”.

Fellow former world boxing champion Wladimir explains that Ukranians are prepared to fight a long fight, and not give in -- at a time when some countries are looking for a negotiated peace agreement.

He says it took two months for international community to recognise that weapons were needed, so....

The longer it goes, the more the world understands it must be stopped - the sooner the better.

If we, the free world give in, it’s the beginning of the end. Unless the aggressor pays severe consequences, lessons won’t be learned, Wladimir argues.

And he adds:

Propaganda must be banned. State-owned media only must be banned.

Wladimir Klitschko (R), Ukrainian former professional boxer and businessman, and his brother Vitali Klitschko (L), Mayor of Kyiv and also a former professional boxer, at the opening plenary session of the 51st annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.
Wladimir Klitschko (R), Ukrainian former professional boxer and businessman, and his brother Vitali Klitschko (L), Mayor of Kyiv and also a former professional boxer, at the opening plenary session of the 51st annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos. Photograph: Gian Ehrenzeller/EPA


Sir Lawrence Freedman: Black Sea issue is looming large

Sir Lawrence Freedman, emeritus professor of War Studies at King’s College London, is here in Davos.

He tells me that Ukraine has a very uncompromising, understandable message to Davos:

The Ukraine line is there’s no time to waste.

Just hit hard, hit now, and we need all the support we can get.

And don’t nod in the direction of the Russians, they’ve got nothing to give you.

And on the blockage of Ukraine’s exports, Freedman says the Black Sea issue is “looming large” now.

There’s an awful lot of economic discussion, political discussion, military discussion going on.

It’s evident there are lots of conversations, as Zelenskiy said.

Freedman explains that the key is to get international signup for a corridor to get Ukraine’s exports moving (as president Zelenskiy called for).

And the starting point should be that this corridor is a humanitarian effort, rather than economic warfare against Russia.

Freedman thinks it’s ‘not impossible’ that Russia would decide not to interfere, as if it blocked a corridor completely then its own ships could become more vulnerable.

Incidentally, he covered the issue of the Black Sea blockade in this Substack post last week.

Q: And finally, what is your personal message to each leader here?

Each one? President Zelenskiy suggests it’s not possible.

After all, there’s a thousand of them, and I’m really short of time, he points out.

But he then makes a very serious point:

Ukraine is short on time now. I’m pretty sure that no-one knows how much time Europe or the World has.

Because of that, the world must not lose the unity which worries Russia the most.

And as a finale, he produces some sage advice for the Davos audience.

They should wake up each morning with the feeling “What have I done for Ukraine today?”

And that’s the end of the session.

Q: Given Ukraine’s crucial role in the global food system, how can the global community help you to export more of your products, given the blockade at present?

Zelenskiy says Russia is stealing Ukraine’s grain, having blockaged its Black Sea ports.

He’s been talking to many leaders such as Boris Johnson, the leaders of Poland, Turkey, and Switzerland, and the UN, to find solutions.

He says a corridor must be established to allow exports, such as wheat and sunflower oil.

Otherwise there will be shortages of these food products - including Asia and Africa, everywhere.

By blockaging ports to stop food being exported, Russia is continuing the energy crisis last year.

We need to agree a corridor, and Russia will not be able to stand against the leading countries of the world

This could use railways, or seaports on the Baltic coast, but there is no simple solution.


Onto questions:

Q: What is your vision for the future of Ukraine?

Zelenskiy sticks to the present first - saying there are 87 dead bodies, victims of the conflict, today.

The future of Ukraine will be there, but without them.

Ukraine is losing a lot, every day, but it makes us stronger, Zelenskiy insist.

And the future of the country will include strong new security priorities, as with a neighbour like Russia on the doorstep, anything can happen.

Ukraine must create conditions where people and businesses aren’t afraid to exist and thrive there.

And that will include up-to-date defence system, most modern, multi-modal defence and security system, and cooperative defence agreements with countries we respect, he adds.

Zelenskiy then quote George Marshall (of the post-WW2 rebuilding plan for Europe), who said that he didn’t oppose any country, but opposed “hunger, poverty, dispair, chaos”.

That is Zelenskiy’s hope for the future, as he ends his speech.

He then gets a standing ovation from the audience here - a rare event for Davos (I think Nelson Mandela, for example, would have got one!).

Zelenskiy then turns to the business leaders here at Davos, urging those who have not yet quit Russia to do so - and welcomes them to Ukraine instead.

It is necessary to set a precedent for full withdrawal of all foreign companies from Russia, so they aren’t used for the “bloody interests” of Russia.

Any company which leaves Russia is welcome to move to the Ukraine market, says Zelenskiy, saying companies would benefit by truly supporting freedom.

And turning to the massive challenge of rebuilding Ukraine , he says:

We offer the world the chance to set a precedent for what happens if you try to destroy a neighbour.

I invite you to take part in this rebuilding.

And this rebuilding could be partly funded by finding Russian assets hidden overseas, freezing them, and allocating them to a special fund to help those hurt by the war.


Zelenskiy calls for “Maximum sanctions”

Zelenskiy calls for “Maximum sanctions” against Russia , so that Russia and any other country that wants to launch a brutal invasion against its neighbour is deterred.

I think there are no such sanctions at present, he insists, and calls for

  • Full oil embargo
  • All Russian banks barred from global systems - no exampcions
  • abandon Rusia IT sector
  • No trade with Russia

Zelenskiy says Ukraine has fought longer than expected, but says it wouldn’t have needed to have endured the war, with so many casualties, if tough sanctions had been imposed last autumn.

If there had been full unity back in 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea, would they have launched February’s invasion? Again, Zelenskiy thinks not.

Zelenskiy cites the creation of the Russian War Crimes House in Davos this year, as evidence of Russia’s conduct in the war.

History remembers how institutions and countries respond to these events, Zelenskiy says -- citing 1938 in Munich as an example of how history remembers these decisions.


Zelenskiy: Will brute force rule the world?

Zelenskiy begins by saying it is a great honour to take part in this year’s Davos - whose theme is history at a turning point.

This year, the phrase word ‘turning point’ is more than rhetoric - this is the moment when it is decided whether brute force will rule the world, says Zelenskiy.

If it does, then there is no point in gatherings such as Davos.

There’s a small pause.... and then Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, appears on the video link, receiving a round of applause from the assembled audience here.

WEF founder Klaus Schwab introduces Zelenskiy, saying we have all seen his couragous leadership, and want to hear what lies ahead for Ukraine, and how we can assist.

President of the Swiss Confederation, Ignazio Cassis, is speaking first, telling WEF that Switzerland could not remain neutral in the Russia-Ukraine war:

Switzerland could play a mediation role once the war has ended, he suggests.


Zelenskiy addresses Davos - watch live here

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy will soon address the World Economic Forum by videolink.

The large, main Congress Hall here at Davos is packed out in readiness.

"Russian War Crimes House" opens

An exhibition tracking atrocities committed by Russia in the Ukraine war is formally opening this morning.

The “Russian War Crimes House” has been set up in a space on the Davos Promenade, which in prior years had been taken over by the Russian delegation for meetings, parties, vodka and canapes.

But with Russian entities now frozen out, the space now includes a map showing where over 4,177 civilians have died in the conflict, including 226 children.

It also shows a video of 4,600 photos showing evidence of war crimes, including photos of bombed streeets and houses.

The exhibition is supported by Ukrainian oligarch and businessman Victor Pinchuk, through his Foundation and PinchukArtCentre.

Outside, a sign reads:

“This used to be the Russian House in Davos. Now it’s the Russian War Crimes House in Davos.”

Opening the exhibition, Pinchuk explains how he has supported building a memorial victims of the Babi Yar massacre of nearly 34,000 Ukrainian jews during the Nazi occupation in the second world war, with a dream of ‘never again’.

But that hope has been extinguished since February 24th.

Since the Russian invasion, we see that genocide against Ukrainians by Russians happen now.

Unfortunately, never again didn’t work.

Pinchuk explains that today, we can see the genocide ‘almost online’, and the killers know we see.

He hopes that the exhibition will encourage Russian soldiers to stop atrocities.

Maybe if we tell the story of this tragedy loudly it will stop them, and save some lives.

Iryna Venediktova, Prosecutor General of Ukraine, spoke by videolink, and said there was evidence of summary executions, torture, rape, the rape of minors, and the forced transfer of Ukrainian children to Russian familes.

Björn Geldhof, artistic director of the PinchukArtCentre, explains that the exhibition shows the most horrific moments of the war, shows the victims, and gives back a name and a face to those who suffered from those Russian war crimes.

Geldhof explains the need to maintain awareness about what is happening in Ukraine.

The war is not just about Ukraine’s survival, it is about values.

Ukraine has chosen European values of freedom time and time again. In 2004, in 2014 and now. that’s what they’re dying for, and fighting for.

This war of values is exactly why it is so important to keep standing with Ukraine. To keep giving Ukraine the tools it needs to keep defending itself.

This is a long-term war, which won’t end quickly, so the support must be sustainable and long-term, Geldhof adds.

Ukraine: Russia must be completely isolate

Ukraine’s deputy prime minister Yuliia Svyrydenko had a stark message in Davos for those countries and companies starting to have second thoughts about sanctions against Russia.

Calling for Russia to be completely isolated, Svyrydenko said:

“Armies win battles but the economy wins wars”.

Many companies, she told a panel on economic warfare, had announced they were pulling out of the Russian market but were still operating.

“Now is not the time for a cost benefit analysis. We have to cut Russia off from the global economy completely.”

Svyrydenko said there should be secondary sanctions against companies that circumvented the economic measures brought in following Russia’s invasion and called for frozen Russian assets to be used to help rebuild Ukraine’s economy, set to contract by at least 30% this year.

Ann Wagner, a republican member of the US house of representatives, said Vladimir Putin needed to get a “very clear and consistent message that there will be an ironclad commitment to implementation” of sanctions.

Europe, she added, had to end its reliance on Russian energy. Moscow should be kicked out of the G20 and other multi-lateral institutions such as the Bank for International Settlements.

Key event

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 Davos, Switzerland, 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 Davos, Georgieva 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.”

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.

Ivanna 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 Davos, where the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum gets underway today.

The Ukraine war takes centre 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.

Ivanna 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 MP, who 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 managaging 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 Davos, Switzerland, 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