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You're reading: Nataliya Gumenyuk: How the World Economic Forum in Davos approached Ukraine’s crisis

“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those
who remain neutral in time of great moral crisis,” so said a Ukrainian
businessman in Davos on the day when for the
first time in the modern history of Ukraine, people died during protests on Jan. 22.

The
businessman did not want to comment any further, but he was ready to listen and
looked sincerely concerned and confused at the prospect of further violence
back home.

The World Economic Forum in Davos is all about
off-the-record comments, especially if you have been invited there as a
participant. The annual meeting in Davos is the place where those with money
and power meet: 50 heads of states, thousands of CEOs, and members of
international organisations, labour and nongovernmental organization leaders. The participation fee of
27,000 Swiss francs (€22,000) is waived for governments and political leaders.
Some of the sessions are televised, but most take place under Chatham House
rules – reporters are free to quote from the discussion, but are not allowed to
say who made which comment.

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