War in Ukraine

Jülich, 7 March 2022 - With its military attack on Ukraine, the Russian government has flagrantly violated international law and started a terrible war in Europe. Forschungszentrum Jülich condemns this attack in the strongest possible terms and expresses its solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

The German Federal Government and its international partners have agreed on far-reaching sanctions, which Forschungszentrum Jülich supports and will fully implement within the scope of all relevant measures. The present long-standing cooperation with Russia and Belarus in the areas of science and research will be brought to a halt with immediate effect.

As research lives off open discourse and peaceful interaction and helps us to solve global challenges, this decision is a painful one and imposes a difficult restriction for an international research centre such as Forschungszentrum Jülich. However, during these exceptional circumstances, it is important to take a clear stance in support of democracy, human rights, and a peaceful coexistence, and to implement the necessary measures quickly and decisively.

“The war with Ukraine is a step to nowhere,” Russian scientists wrote in an open letter one day after the initial Russian attack, demanding “peace for our countries”. These courageous voices of reason and understanding represent a small glimmer of hope – both for the wider world and for Jülich as a research centre with many international connections.

Helmholtz President Otmar D. Wiestler has also expressed his dismay at Russia's attack on Ukraine, which violates international law. Science thrives on open exchange and non-violent discourse. In an exceptional situation like this, however, scientific organisations must resolutely stand up for the principles of democracy, human rights and non-violent coexistence, Wiestler said in a letter to the staff of the Helmholtz Association.

Statements of the Alliance of German Science Organisations and the science academies of the G7 countries

Statement of the Alliance of German Science Organisations

The Alliance of German Science Organisations strongly supports the Federal Government's consistent action against Russia's belligerent attack on Ukraine, which is contrary to international law. It has taken a position on this in a statement. Forschungszentrum Jülich shares the Alliance's position.

The official statement:

"Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany: solidarity with partners in Ukraine – consequences for science and the humanities

The Alliance of German Science Organisations strongly supports the Federal Government’s con-sistent action against Russia's belligerent attack on Ukraine, which is in violation of international law.

The Alliance regards the Russian invasion as an attack on the fundamental values of freedom, democracy and self-determination, which in turn provide the basis for academic freedom and opportunities for academic cooperation.

The organisations of the Alliance have long maintained diverse and productive academic collab-orations with their partners in Ukraine. They have our full solidarity at this moment!
In this spirit, we are determined to continue to pursue our contacts and close cooperation with our Ukrainian partners at all levels, in student exchanges as well as in the promotion of bilateral research projects and the development and use of academic infrastructures. Students and aca-demics who have to leave their country as a result of Russian aggression will be offered support under wide-ranging assistance programmes.

The Alliance of Science Organisations will discuss further steps in this crisis situation in close consultation with each other as well as with the Federal Government and other political decision-makers. Decisions must then be made by the individual organisations or member institutions. Even at this stage, however, it is recommend that academic cooperation with state institutions and business enterprises in Russia be frozen with immediate effect until further notice, that German research funds no longer benefit Russia, and that no joint events take place of an aca-demic nature or those pertaining to research policy. New cooperation projects should not be initiated at the present time.

The Alliance is aware of the consequences of these measures and at the same time deeply regrets them for science. Many research projects have been planned to take place over a period of several years and are massively affected by the current war situation. We live in a multidi-mensional world, and only by means of close international academic cooperation can the crises facing humanity, such as climate change, species extinction or infectious diseases, be overcome. For this reason, our solidarity also goes out to our long-standing Russian cooperation partners and scholars who are themselves horrified at Russia’s invasion of Ukraine."

Statement of the G7 science academies on Russia's attack on Ukraine

The science academies of the G7 countries have published a joint statement on Russia's attack on Ukraine. The science academies have been accompanying the annual meetings of the G7 countries for more than fifteen years. In the run-up to each summit, they address scientific agenda-related issues that require multilateral action.

The official statement:

Joint Statement by the National Academies of the G7 States on Russia’s Attack on Ukraine

The unprovoked attack against Ukraine, a democratic and independent country, is a blatant violation of international law and of core values of humanity. The Russian invasion is an assault on the fundamental principles of freedom, democracy and self-determination, which provide the basis for academic freedom and opportunities for scientific exchange and cooperation.

In this dark hour, our thoughts and deepest sympathy are with the people of Ukraine. We are determined to support the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. We stand in solidarity with the scientific community and the scientists in Ukraine.

We acknowledge the Russian scientists and citizens who are ashamed of this attack and speak out against the war.

We call on the Russian leadership to immediately cease all military action against Ukraine and put an end to this war.

Download Statement by the G7 science academies (PDF)

Last Modified: 22.05.2022