B2B Cambodia hosted Jim Brooke, an experienced journalist with more than five decades working in his profession, and currently working out of Ukraine as editor-in-chief of the Ukraine Business News and CEO of Kyiv Post. He discusses the impact of the conflict in Ukraine and his impressions of Cambodia.
Jim previously has worked with well-known media outlets and publications such as The New York Times, in Russia (former Soviet Union) as Bureau Chief for Voice of America, and as Moscow Bureau Chief for Bloomberg. Before his current role in the Ukraine, Brooke was editor-in-chief of the Khmer Times newspaper, in Cambodia.
The Ukraine Conflict – Global and Cambodian Impacts
Brooke is adamant that Ukraine will win the war and they have seen increased European support which is also something Russia would not have banked on when they invaded in February 2022.
The growth of NATO with Finland joining and Sweden expected to do so by the end of 2023, has seen the organisation expand its border with Russia.
Brooke knows that the pushback on the invasion will not be easy and isn’t sure where Crimea can also be retaken but says we are “Witnesses to history. This is the largest war in Europe (since World War II) and a significant event with significant impacts.”
Those impacts include the European economy and global grain prices. These increased prices have been seen everywhere including across Africa and in Cambodia. The prices of corn and wheat crops have notably risen.
Brooke adds that the Russian sabotage of the dam in the Ukraine in 2023 will deprive irrigation to 10,000 sqm of farmland. He also adds that there is a bottleneck of getting any grains out of the country, and prior to the war, the Ukraine was easily one of the most efficient and cheap grain producers in the world.
Oil prices have also been impacted as Russia was the “gas station of Europe” but that’s changed as Europe is less reliant now on Russian exports. As a result, Russia has lost its largest customer of its largest export.
Finally, there has been a brain drain of an estimated one million Russians who have left – potential expertise that could be attracted to a country like Cambodia?
On the future of Cambodia, Brooke says he has seen an improvement and even one infrastcrire project such as the new Phnom Penh airport, due to its size, is something he sees as an “ambitious and aspirational project.”