28 Apr 2022 13:50

Russian Academy of Sciences president calls for continuing scientific cooperation despite termination of contacts with certain countries

MOSCOW. April 28 (Interfax) - Russia should not withdraw its scientists from international research projects in retaliation against the conduct of other countries, Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) President Alexander Sergeev said.

"The RAS believes we should absolutely not give a symmetric response [...] fundamental science is an international undertaking, you cannot do this in isolation and try to be globally competitive. We should continue scientific cooperation although it hurts to receive letters from foreign colleagues and academies that say they are breaking off with us," Sergeev said in the Prozdnyakov program on the NTV television channel.

Russia has actively contributed money and efforts to the construction of mega-science facilities abroad, yet cooperation is being suspended in a number of such projects, Sergeev said.

"We used to be friends both personally and as institutes, and we never thought we would be ousted after finalizing construction. We heavily invested in the FAIR project in Germany and the ITER project in France, i.e. the Tokamak thermonuclear reactor. Now we have been ousted from some of these facilities. There has been no ousting from ITER just yet, but we were very hurt by the XFEL situation, as we contributed to it and they decided to suspend cooperation. Regretfully, CERN has also suspended cooperation with us," Sergeev said.

Even in this case, Russia should not respond "in an eye for an eye manner," he said.

"We should not, and we will sort things out as time passes; it's better not to start from the zero level but to have a certain level of cooperation instead of grudges," Sergeev said.

A number of world-class facilities are under construction in Russia, Sergeev said, adding that rivals have nothing of the kind nor will they in the near future.

As to the creation of the so-called friendly research area, Sergeev mentioned Belarus, India and China.

"We cannot do without China in the field of global scientific leadership and participation in leading projects; I am not being ironic and I am saying this in a positive manner that we are doomed to cooperate with China in science," he said.

Sergeev described cooperation with Belarus as "mutually advantageous and interesting," especially in the areas of electronics, laser technologies and agriculture.

The West imposed massive sanctions on Russia that included scientific and technical cooperation, following the announcement of a special military operation in Ukraine by Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 24.