Ukraine, Kyiv, Sarah Katie Andrew discussed on Squawk Pod

Squawk Pod


In years past Sarah Katie Andrew and the rest of the CNBC Davos crew have sat on a roof in frigid temperatures bundled with hand warmers to chat with the biggest games of business and politics about the world order and innovation and the fresh Alpine air. But this year, a lot of things have been different. It's a little bit different having this event in May after two years of pandemic than the typical January captains of the universe event that we've seen in the past. It has felt very different, not just because the weather and the dress code is totally different, but because we're seeing each other for the first time. So I think there's a lot of excitement around face to face interactions. There's really no replacement for that. Everyone had enough of zoom and when it comes to meeting the top leaders in business and politics and the economy and civil society, everyone in one place, there's no substitution. So I think everyone's really happy to be here. But at the same time, it's a really uncertain time for the global economy. And there is a lot of pessimism and negativity. We're looking at a war in Ukraine, which is the less than three hour flight from here in Davos. And it's changing all sorts of geopolitical relationships. It's elevated tension significantly. We're potentially looking at a global recession and a spike in inflation that's causing a lot of harm on developing economies in particular. I did a panel today with someone from a development bank in Africa where they're looking at more than 13% food inflation on already stretched finances. So you are seeing these pain points. But at the same time, everyone's really happy to be here talking about it together and it makes you feel like global cooperation or at least dialog is alive and well, which is what Davos always is, but it's nice to do it in good weather and it's nice to do it after a two year hiatus. A lot has changed in those two years and top of mind for everyone is the war in Ukraine. This week, Russian forces continue to press in on Ukraine and on Wednesday alone, they staged dozens of attacks, killing at least 6 people. Watching from honestly not so far away, German Chancellor Olaf scholz spoke to the Davos community, and his comments made global headlines. We can not allow Putin to win his war, and I firmly believe that he will not win it. And mayor of Kyiv vitali Klitschko also came to Davos to deliver his message from the Ukrainian people to the international community. Main priority are starting my speech main priority for every Ukrainian for every citizen saw a hometown safety. Mayor Klitschko's brother of Vladimir also attended the forum. That's who you'll hear from today. He gave Sarah eisen an idea of what life is like back in Kyiv. There were depressing parts of the interview where made you pause, I didn't even know what to say. But there were hopeful parts of the interview as well. And that was when I asked him when it was like in cube right now because he said three months ago, it was very scary and dangerous and everyone was hunkering down and a city of 5 million people was completely empty and a lot of people were fleeing and there were sirens and air raids and bombing and now people are back and they've defended Kyiv. And we've seen world leaders. We've seen members of Congress go there and walk freely with president zelensky. There have even been stories of remote workers gathering at cafes and Kyiv, logging into their jobs. But as kiv residents attempt to find normalcy in the middle of a war zone, the world is watching. Closely. Russia has for many years sent a delegation of leaders many companies. You've seen a lot of the traditional oligarchs, you've seen people from the Russian energy companies come here in the past. But this year the World Economic Forum did not allow any Russian delegation to Kim at all. Is that what sort of message do you think that sends? To the global community. It was noticeable because, as you mentioned, the Russians are always here and full force. They at least wear the best parties. And they always have the best Caviar at those parties. And it was obviously a strong statement to Russia that it is not included in a global dialog in the global community. But at the same time, you have members of the Ukrainian delegation that are here at the foreign ministers here. President zelensky addressed mister Davos on video to a standing ovation here. You're playing this short on time. They're calling on the world community and world leaders to do more. They're calling on Europe to have an oil embargo and there's still some struggles with that with that situation. They're calling on investors globally to put money into Ukraine and pull it out of Russia. So there's more that can be done, but clearly it's a statement. It's a statement of unity against Russia from a lot of the world's most powerful people. You spoke to one of the cleats co brothers, two twins, from Kyiv, Vladimir. He has sort of given up a very different career to throw himself into the cause in Ukraine now. Tell me about your conversation. So he is top ranked heavyweight boxer. Very widely decorated. And international superstar and celebrity turned freedom fighter essentially. He's in less than in the Ukrainian army, his brother is the mayor of Kyiv. As you said, and they are staying in Kyiv with this fight, I asked him what he was doing here in Davos. And not in Ukraine. He said that he's left two times since the war broke out about three months ago. Once was to meet with the German Chancellor and the other was to come here because he thought and his brother came as well. It was so important to spread the message to keep supporting Ukraine and his bigger message, I would say, is that Ukraine's fight is the world's fight. And Ukraine is fighting for freedom, and he also had a lot of warnings about the consequences and what could be coming with Russia, because he says the world hasn't been paying attention to the signals from Russia, going back to Crimea and Putin's language before then. And so he had some interesting and scary warnings for what could come next. He also spoke to me, he said, and has been speaking to media because he wants it to stay in the forefront of western media. And he really made such a point on telling me how important the media was to tell the right story because if you look at what's happening in Russia, the propaganda there and how they're explaining this war from Ukrainian perspective is just ludicrous and is completely wrong. So I think what you'll hear is that he has come with a very powerful message and after Davos, he's going to drive back into your brain to the war zone, which is really sort of unbelievable juxtaposition when you think about it. I asked him, how did it feel to be here? He said, totally surreal. First of all, I'm curious why you come here to Davos in the middle of the war. Now, in Davos, two worlds are colliding, meeting each other. On political side, the leaders of the governments and on the economical side, the lyrics of business world. And it's so important to work together in one front against this Russian aggression and the war in Ukraine. Because without isolation, on the political side, and on economical side of Russia, these wars will keep on going. Because every cent that Russia is gaining on trading oil gas coal, whatever the trade is, is going to be spent on the military equipment and paid for the soldiers that fight and kill us today in Ukraine. Do you feel like your message is being heard? Europe is.

Coming up next