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CERN’s response to the invasion of Ukraine: new Council measures


Fabiola Gianotti is the Director-General of CERN.

Following the resolutions adopted at the March session of the CERN Council, the Director-General sent the following message to the CERN personnel

As you know, the CERN Council has been meeting this week. CERN’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was among the main topics of discussion.

CERN was born from the ashes of World War II to promote excellence in scientific research and peaceful collaboration across borders. Over seven decades, the Organization has become a powerful symbol of what people can achieve when they put their differences aside and work together in pursuit of common goals for the benefit of all humanity. Our Member States are very conscious of this heritage, and the importance of preserving it into the future. This brutal invasion puts us in an unprecedented situation, requiring strong measures to be taken to preserve this legacy.

Following the adoption of two Resolutions by the Council today, one concerning Russia and Belarus, the other the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) based in Dubna, the Council has agreed on a statement, which I am appending to this email, outlining the new measures that were approved today. The full text of the Resolutions will be available shortly in English and French on the CERN Council’s webpages and also made available through the CERN website and the ‘Solidarity with Ukraine’ webpage.

The measures concerning Russia and Belarus reinforce those adopted by the Council at the Extraordinary Session on 8 March. The Council will take a decision in June on whether to suspend all collaborations with Russian and Belarusian institutes and with JINR. In the meantime, CERN management will work through the full implications of such a move, developing a scenario to address the issue in a manner that is the least disruptive to individuals and CERN’s scientific activities. 

Since the invasion, several actions have been initiated by the Organization to support members of our Ukrainian community and their families, as well as the Ukrainian population more generally. Further measures are under discussion with our Ukrainian colleagues.  The collection initiated by the Staff Association and supported by the Management raised a total of 820 000 Swiss francs, consisting of individual donations from CERN personnel, matched by the CERN Directorate from the CERN budget, with a contribution of 15 000 Swiss francs from the Staff Association. These funds will be transferred to the Red Cross for its humanitarian operations in Ukraine and neighbouring countries. We would like to thank you very much for your generosity, and for all the very moving and practical initiatives that many of you have taken to support our Ukrainian colleagues and the Ukrainian people.


CERN Council takes further measures in response to the invasion of Ukraine

In response to the military invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, the 23 Member States of CERN today decided to:

-          suspend the participation of CERN scientists in all scientific committees of institutions located in the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus, and vice versa; 

-          suspend or, failing that, cancel all events jointly arranged between CERN and institutions located in the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus;

-          suspend the granting of contracts of association as associated members of the CERN personnel to any new individuals affiliated to home institutions in Russia and Belarus.

Regarding relations with the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR), with which CERN holds reciprocal Observer status, the CERN Council decided:

-          to suspend the participation of CERN scientists in all JINR scientific committees, and vice versa;

-          to suspend or, failing that, cancel all events jointly arranged between CERN and JINR;

-          that CERN will not engage in new collaborations with JINR until further notice;

-          that the Observer status of JINR at the Council is suspended and CERN will not exercise the rights resulting from its Observer status at JINR, until further notice.

The CERN Council also decided that, with a view to making a decision at its Session in June 2022 on the suspension of the international cooperation agreements and the related protocols and addenda, as well as any other agreements, including mutatis mutandis experiment memoranda of understanding, allowing for the participation of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus, their national institutes and JINR in the CERN scientific programme, the Council will consider additional information and an action plan, and will further analyse the full consequences of such a decision.

The 23 Member States of CERN reiterate their condemnation, in the strongest terms, of the military invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation and strongly condemn the statements by those Russian institutes that have expressed support for the illegal invasion of Ukraine.

The CERN Council emphasised that the unprovoked and premeditated attack on Ukraine has caused widespread loss of life and a humanitarian crisis. Therefore, the Council stressed that its decisions are taken to express its solidarity with the Ukrainian people and its commitment to science for peace.

The core values of the Organization have always been premised upon scientific collaboration across borders as a driver for peace. Therefore, the aggression of one country by another runs against the values for which the Organization stands.

The measures agreed on today complement those adopted at the CERN Council’s Extraordinary Session held on 8 March, whereby it supported initiatives in favour of the Ukrainian scientific community, condemned the military invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation with the involvement of Belarus, suspended the Observer status of the Russian Federation until further notice, and decided that CERN would not engage in new collaborations with the Russian Federation and its institutions until further notice.