Billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros believes the war in Ukraine could eventually trigger World War III and have devastating consequences for Europe and beyond
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Billionaire philanthropist George Soros has painted a bleak picture of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, warning it could trigger World War III and ultimately end civilization as we know it.
The 91-year-old Hungarian-American delivered his traditional dinner speech at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, where he addressed the large group of Davos 2022 attendees.
He said the West’s only hope was “to defeat (Vladimir) Putin as soon as possible” and that the war had “shook Europe to the core”.
“The invasion may have been the start of World War III, and our civilization may not survive it,” said Budapest-born Soros, believed to be worth around $8.6 billion.
“We must mobilize all our resources to bring the war to an early end.
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“The best and maybe only way to preserve our civilization is to defeat Putin as soon as possible.
“Even if the fighting stops, as it eventually has to, the situation will never be the same again.
“Other issues affecting all of humanity — fighting pandemics and climate change, avoiding nuclear war, maintaining global institutions — have had to take a back seat in this fight, and that’s why I say civilization may not survive.”
He commended Ukraine for its struggle for Western values, adding: “I think Ukraine today is doing a tremendous service to Europe and the Western world and to the open society and our survival because it is leading our struggle.
“They have a really good chance of winning and we have to give them all the support they’re asking for.”
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However, Soros has criticized Germany, and in particular former Chancellor Angela Merkel, for their “special deals” made with Moscow over Europe’s dependence on Russian gas.
“Europe’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels remains excessive, largely due to the mercantilist policies of former Chancellor Angela Merkel,” he added.
“It had special contracts with Russia for the supply of gas and made China Germany’s largest export market.
“This has made Germany the best-performing economy in Europe, but now there is a heavy price to pay.”
Soros praised Merkel’s successor, Olaf Scholz, who said that while he was elected to continue Merkel’s policies, he “always seemed to do the right thing in the end.”
The 90-year-old, founder of the Open Society Foundations, which provides financial support to groups around the world, said he also fears for open societies because of the threats Russia and China pose.
“Repressive regimes are not on the rise and China and Russia pose the greatest threat to an open society,” he noted.
“In an open society, the rule of the state is to protect the freedom of the individual – in a closed state, the role of the individual is to serve the rulers of the state.
“They rule by intimidation and make startling mistakes as a result.”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also told the World Economic Forum that Europe’s heavy reliance on fossil fuels from Russia was “wrong” and “dangerous”.
“Freedom is more important than free trade,” said the former Norwegian prime minister.
“Protecting our values is more important than profit.
“International trade has undoubtedly brought great prosperity, but we must recognize that our economic choices have implications for our security.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/ukraine-conflict-could-spiral-world-27057294 Ukraine conflict could turn into World War III and end civilization, George Soros warns - World News