George Soros, a U.S. investor and philanthropist of Hungarian descent.
Fabris Kafrini | AFP | Getty Images
Liberal billionaire George Soros on Tuesday warned of global frustration, saying Russia’s aggression in Ukraine could be seen as a turning point in World War III.
At his annual dinner at the World Economic Forum, Soros said that the course of history has changed dramatically since the last Davos event.
“Russia has invaded Ukraine. It has shaken Europe to its core,” he told the audience.
“The European Union was founded to prevent this from happening. Even when the fighting is over, as it should be in the end, the situation will never return to normal. Indeed, the Russian invasion could start the world. The third war, and our civilization Can’t survive. “
He explained that other issues related to humanity, such as epidemics, climate change and the avoidance of nuclear war, had to take their back seats. “That’s why I say our civilization can’t survive,” he added.
Soros, born in Hungary to a Jewish family that survived the Nazi occupation, moved to Britain and later to the United States. The financier funds liberal charities and non-governmental organizations worldwide through its Open Society Foundation and famously bet against the British pound in 1992.
Speaking on Tuesday, Soros said the fight against climate change had to take second place in the Ukraine war.
“Yet experts tell us that we are already far behind, and that climate change is on the verge of becoming irreversible. It could be the end of our civilization,” he said.
Russia’s aggression in Ukraine is seen as a turning point in a widely planned power shift. Gas and oil prices have risen and the global fuel market has been severely destabilized. Coal consumption has increased because Westerners are desperately looking for alternatives to Russian hydrocarbons.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the Kremlin’s attack on Ukraine is likely to have a major impact on global warming targets. Guterres described this short-sighted pursuit of fossil fuels as “madness” before warning that humanity’s “addiction to fossil fuels is mutually certain destruction.”
Soros said he found the possibility of irreversible climate change “particularly alarming.” “Most of us have a laid back attitude when it comes to painting a picture about our lives,” he said.
“Therefore, we must mobilize all our resources to bring an early end to the war. The best and probably the only way to save our civilization is to defeat Putin. That is the key line,” he added.
China Covid policy
Soros also targeted Beijing, which is facing its worst Covid-19 outbreak in early 2020. Earlier in May, Chinese President Xi Jinping chaired a meeting of top leaders who stressed that the country should stick to its “dynamic zero-covid” policy and warned that otherwise it would have economic consequences.
According to state media, officials called on the country to unite behind the decision of the CPC Central Committee and “fight vigorously” against all questions of virus control policy.
“The ongoing lockdown has had catastrophic consequences, pushing the Chinese economy into a free fall since March,” Soros said in a speech on Tuesday.
Citing the Caixin Composite PMI index, Soros said China’s “sharply declining economic activity” was bound to have global consequences.
“These negative consequences will continue to gain momentum until Shi changes course … The real-estate crisis is coming to a head, the damage will be so great that it will affect the global economy. Said.
Last week, Goldman Sachs became the latest bank to cut its forecast for China’s GDP from 4.5% to 4%, after the April data showed a slowdown in growth due to restricting Covid-19 business activity.
NCNBC’s Sam Meredith and Evelyn Cheng contributed to this article.
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