Research institutes are ending cooperation with Russia across the board

En Last week, one German research institute after another took a stand against Russian politics and announced the relevant results. The groundwork was laid quickly: in the aftermath of the Russian invasion on Friday, Allianz, the largest German scientific and research organization, issued a recommendation that “scientific cooperation with Russian state institutions and commercial enterprises should be frozen immediately.” German research funds will no longer benefit Russia and no joint scientific and research-political events will take place. “

On the same day, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) said in a statement that Russia had “bid farewell to the international community” through its actions. Previous collaborations in science and research as well as vocational training will be discontinued, and plans for the new system will be suspended “until further notice.” Science academies also opposed the attack on Ukraine and saw Russia’s move as an “attack on the fundamental foundations of educational freedom and international cooperation.”

In some places, Russia is the most important partner

This termination of research collaboration is a drastic step. Germany and Russia have 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, based on similar agreements from 2009 and 1987. So far, Russia has been an important partner, especially in space, physics and polar studies. The Helmholtz Association, which has its own office in Moscow since 2005, maintains a particularly strong relationship with Russia.

Accelerator Center FAIR is currently being built at GSI, the Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt. Russia is the largest partner country, GSI press spokesman Ingo Peter said. Restrictions will have a strong effect on one’s own activities, but are still “necessary” according to management. FAIR is currently coordinating with other partner countries on their specific implementation. The German Electron Synchrotron (DESY), supported by the Helmholtz Association, is based in Hamburg and Geuthene and currently has 100 Russian and 20 Ukrainian employees. One stands with full solidarity behind the BMBF’s instructions, it was said in the request. “More than 25 cooperation projects and cooperation relations with a large number of Russian institutes and Russian universities” will be suspended, including the EU project CREMLINplus, which will run until 2024.

The FAIR and DESY cases reflect the response of German research institutes to the Russian aggression in Ukraine: remorse, but also emphasize a necessary response. The Max Planck Society is cutting off all cooperation with Russian state institutions. Within the framework of the relevant collaboration project, “scientists will no longer meet and no more scientific information will be collected,” said press spokeswoman Christina Beck. The corresponding modules have been shut down for this purpose. “

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