“The invasion may be the beginning of World War III and our civilization may not survive it.” This was stated by the American billionaire George Soros in his traditional evening speech at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss mountain town of Davos on the occasion of the war in Ukraine. He said Europe could have a stronger stance against President Vladimir Putin on gas than he realized.
The Hungarian-born investor and philanthropist said the war had shaken Europe to the core.
“We need to mobilize all our resources to bring the war to an end soon. The best, and perhaps the only, way to preserve our civilization is to defeat Putin as soon as possible,” Soros said. He praised US and European support for Ukraine, but Europe’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels “remains excessive,” he said. According to him, this dependence is largely due to the “mercantile policy pursued by former German Chancellor Angela Merkel”, which has concluded “special deals” with Moscow for gas supplies.
“I think Putin is very clever in blackmailing Europe by threatening to cut off gas, but in fact his arguments are much weaker than they appear,” Soros said. According to him, last year Putin stored gas instead of exporting it to Europe, creating a shortage that has raised prices and brought Russia a lot of money.
Soros used his speech this year to target another common target, Chinese President Xi Jinping. He called the presidents of China and Russia “dictators” whose countries pose “the greatest threat to an open society.” According to him, they rule by intimidation.
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