eThen, one German research institute, after another, took an anti-Russian stance last week and announced the consequences. The foundation was quickly laid: on the Friday after the Russian invasion, Allianz, the largest federation of German scientific and research organizations, published a recommendation according to which “scientific cooperation with state institutions and commercial enterprises of Russia should be frozen immediately. In effect until further notice that German research funds It will not benefit Russia and that no joint scientific and political research events should be held. ”
On the same day, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) said in a statement that Russia had “admitted itself to the international community” by its behavior. Previous cooperation in science and research as well as in vocational training will be suspended, and planning for new measures will be suspended “until further notice.” The scientific academies also opposed the attack on Ukraine and considered Russia’s actions “an attack on the fundamental foundations of academic freedom and international cooperation”.
In some places, Russia is the most important partner
Ending research collaborations is a radical step. Germany and Russia previously cooperated in many important areas of science: it was not until 2018 that a ten-year German-Russian roadmap for cooperation in education, science, research and innovation was signed, which is based on similar agreements in 2009 and 1987. To date, Russia has been a partner important, particularly in space travel, physics, and polar research. The Helmholtz Association, which has had its own office in Moscow since 2005, maintains particularly strong ties with Russia.
The FAIR Accelerator Center is currently under construction at GSI, the Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt. Russia, says GSI press spokesperson, Ingo Peter, is the largest partner country. Sanctions will have a strong impact on the activities of the individual, but they are still “necessary” in the opinion of the management. Coordination is underway with other FAIR project partner countries on their concrete implementation. The German Synchrotron (DESY), also supported by the Helmholtz Association, is located in Hamburg and Zeuthen and currently employs 100 Russian and 20 Ukrainian employees. One stands in complete solidarity behind the instructions of the BMBF, it is said upon request. “More than 25 cooperation projects and cooperation relations with a large number of Russian institutes and universities” will be suspended, including the EU project CREMLINplus, which will run until 2024.
The FAIR and DESY cases reflect the reaction of German research institutions to the Russian invasion of Ukraine: regret, but also focus on the necessary reaction. The Max Planck Society suspends all forms of cooperation with Russian state institutions. Under related collaboration projects, “scientists will no longer meet and no more scientific data will be collected,” says press spokeswoman Christina Beck. Corresponding units have been discontinued for this purpose.”
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