Particle physics research

CERN will sever its relations with Russia and Belarus

Cooperation agreements will not be renewed after 2024, but the situation will be “monitored”

CERN, Europe’s leading organization for nuclear research, has decided to sever its ties with Russia and Belarus because of the former’s invasion of Ukraine and the latter’s support for the war.

Member states of CERN’s board of directors decided on June 16 that the cooperation agreements with Russia and Belarus will not be renewed after their expiry in 2024, although the decision will be reviewed.

The move means researchers affiliated with Russia and Belarus would not be able to use CERN’s state-of-the-art facilities for particle physics research after the agreements expire, and the countries would no longer contribute funding or the expertise of CERN’s operations.

“Yesterday’s Council decision confirms strong condemnation of the Belarusian-aided invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, while leaving the door ajar for further scientific collaboration if conditions permit. future,” said CERN Director General Fabiola Gianotti.

Agreements expiring in 2024

CERN’s international cooperation agreements normally have a duration of five years and are renewed for the same period, unless written notice of termination is given by one of the parties at least six months before the renewal date.

The 1994 cooperation agreement between Belarus and CERN is due to expire in June 2024, and the 2019 agreement with Russia in December 2024.

The Council also decided to review cooperation with the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research of Russia, whose international cooperation agreement is due to expire in January 2025.

Located to be monitored

According to a statement from the CERN board, “the situation will continue to be closely monitored and the board stands ready to take any further decisions in the light of developments in Ukraine”.

In March, the CERN board voted to suspend Russia’s observer status and certain roles for individual researchers. But some governments had called on CERN to go further: Poland’s secretary of state for science, Wojciech Murdzek, said last week that the agreements should be terminated even if it meant delays in CERN’s work and costs. higher.

CERN had previously told Research Professional News that there are about 1,000 Russian-affiliated researchers who would be affected by the severing of ties, and that Russia contributes to the experiment operations in proportion to its participation.