We are appalled by the Russian attack on Ukraine and strongly condemn the Russian government's actions, which violate international law.
At the IfL, we have been working for decades in close, trusting cooperation with scientists from all the states of Eastern Europe. We do this not only out of scientific curiosity, but also always in the conviction that the joint development of knowledge about each other, guided by mutual respect and recognition, and also the personal contacts between each other, contribute to international understanding and peace. This is one of the reasons why we have established the Leibniz Science Campus Eastern Europe – Global Area here in Central Germany together with eight other partners. The Campus supports young researchers from all over the world in developing new scientific perspectives on a globally embedded and interconnected Eastern Europe in an open exchange. It remains a basic principle priority for us to maintain close academic exchange with colleagues from Ukraine, Russia and all other successor states of the Soviet Union.
We are deeply concerned for our colleagues and friends in Ukraine. To them and their families we assure our full solidarity and our support for a self-determined life in peace and freedom.
Under these circumstances, it is out of the question for the director of the IfL, Prof Dr Sebastian Lentz, to accept the Semyonov Gold Medal of the Russian Geographical Society.
For all employees of the IfL,
Sebastian Lentz, Director