Ukraine will be among the global elites of business, finance, banking, and big government who will gather in Davos next month for the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed Wednesday that his government will attend the meeting in Switzerland, and that he spoke with BlackRock Inc CEO Larry Fink again about financing the postwar reconstruction effort.
“Specialists of this company are already assisting Ukraine in structuring the fund for the reconstruction of our state,” Zelensky said in his evening address to the nation, according to Bloomberg.
He did not say whether he would attend the WEF in person or virtually on January 16-20, though he has been a regular attendee in the past.
According to Bloomberg, Zelensky also discussed the possibility of Italy contributing to the strengthening of Ukraine’s air defences with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.
Zelensky appeared via video at the previous meeting in May, when he compared his country to Israel in conversation with WEF chief 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.”
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.”