Davos Returns Under Ukraine Cloud After Covid Break

Davos returns under Ukraine cloud after Covid break

Paris, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 20th May, 2022 ) :The world's political and business elite will hobnob in Davos next week after a two-year break caused by Covid, with the Ukraine war set to dominate the exclusive Swiss mountain summit.

The world has changed drastically since the last time the World Economic Forum took place in person at the ski resort in January 2020.

At the time, US President Donald Trump and climate campaigner Greta Thunberg headlined the show and the coronavirus had yet to spread widely outside China.

Since then, the outbreak in China turned into a pandemic that rocked the global economy, Trump lost the US election to Joe Biden, countries have endured climate change-driven weather disasters, inflation has surged and Russia invaded Ukraine.

After a virtual forum in 2021 and the postponement of this year's in-person event due to the Omicron variant, the WEF returns to its Davos den on Monday under the theme "History at a Turning Point".

But the hub of cheerleaders of capitalism and globalisation will lack its usual scenic snowy backdrop -- and the usual Russian contingent.

President Vladimir Putin spoke at the online meeting last year, but organisers decided to exclude Russians this time as Western powers have imposed sanctions on Moscow over the Ukraine conflict.

Instead, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will address the summit via video link while around a dozen officials from his country will attend in person.

WEF founder Klaus Schwab said it would be "the most timely and consequential" meeting since the creation of the forum more than 50 years ago.

"Russia's aggression on the country will be seen in future history books as the breakdown of the post-World War II and post-Cold War order," Schwab said in a pre-summit briefing, adding that Davos will do what it can to support Ukraine and its recovery.

WEF president Borge Brende said that excluding the Russians from the forum was "the right decision".

"We do hope, though, that Russia will follow a different path ... in the years to come to start to stick to the UN charter and to their international obligations," Brende said.