The Leopoldina and the Russian Academy of Sciences cooperated since 2011 based on a Memorandum of Understanding. The document was renewed and extended in February 2021. The cooperation focused on the promotion of young talents, science diplomacy and the cooperation on topics of common interest. As a consequence of the Russian Federation’s aggressive attack against Ukraine in blatant violation of international law, the requirements for cooperation have changed fundamentally.
All members of the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany, including the Leopoldina, have frozen the institutional relations with Russia on 25 February 2022. This applies to all activities. In addition, the “German-Russian Roadmap for Cooperation in Education, Science, Research and Innovation” was suspended indefinitely in coordination with the German Federal Government. Since the beginning of the war, the member organisation of the Alliance have been providing continuous support for Ukrainian science and education.
Under the leadership of the Leopoldina and in the framework of Germany’s G7 Presidency, the National Academies of the G7 countries utterly condemned the Russian war against Ukraine on 2 March 2022, froze their institutional relations with Russia and declared full solidarity with the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Support for the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and for Ukrainian scientists seeking refuge or remaining in Ukraine is ongoing.
Cooperation from 2011 until 2021
The Leopoldina and its members regularly took part in conferences, symposia, workshops and panel discussions as well as in joint research projects of various formats of German-Russian scientific cooperation.
One example was the “German-Russian Young Scientists Forum”, which the two National Academies have organised between 2011 and 2014 to promote and support young scientists. This was a high-level bilateral initiative originating from the “German-Russian Year of Education, Science and Innovation 2011/12”. The German Young Academy and the Council of Young Scientists of the Russian Academy of Sciences contributed as additional partners. Overall, four annual fora were held in Germany and Russia: in 2011 in Moscow, in 2012 in Berlin and Halle, in 2013 in Bonn, Cologne and Jülich and in 2014 in Saint Petersburg. The most important science and funding organisations as well as renowned universities from both countries contributed to the events as well.
The Leopoldina was substantially engaged in drawing up the “German-Russian Roadmap for Cooperation in Education, Science, Research and Innovation”. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Ministry of Science and Universities of the Russian Federation signed the bilateral document in December 2018. This Roadmap defined the strategic framework for bilateral cooperation in its areas of coverage for the period from 2018 to 2028. The Leopoldina is also a member of the German-Russian Commission for Scientific-Technical Cooperation.