The Ukrainian Committee of COSPAR strongly condemned Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine and, in fact, against the whole democratic world. We stop any cooperation with the Russian space research institutions.
That is why it turned out to be a strange and incomprehensible statement made by the President of COSPAR Lennard A. Fisk on March 2, 2022 (https://cosparhq.cnes.fr/news/statement-by-the-president-of-cospar/). It is about reaction to Russian military aggression against Ukraine and principles of further cooperation "in conditions of geopolitical instability". The text of the statement almost completely consists of the thesis on the equality of cooperation, impossibility of isolation of scientific communities and the highest ethical principles of such cooperation.
On the current situation and the statement made by the President of COSPAR, the Ukrainian members of COSPAR state the following.
Not only our cities, scientific and industrial infrastructure, research and development institutions were destroyed, thousands of our fellow citizens were killed, as a result of the aggression of Russia. The aim of the invaders is the complete destruction of Ukraine as such, together with its science, education and industry. And this is the initial stage of the "holy war with the collective West", as the official statements of the Russian Federation make. Under these circumstances, the ability of countries to “work together on global challenges” is clearly diminishing. And the ethical conditions of cooperation of scientists acquire some new traits.
In particular, the official position of the Russian Academy of Sciences, which represents the Russian Federation in COSPAR, is in full support of the war. The same position was expressed in the letter of more than 150 rectors of the leading Russian Universities. These circumstances will lead to a discussion on the specifics of “equal cooperation” among scientists in the COSPAR environment. The discussion could be held on the site of a building of a reactor of one of our nuclear power stations, in a semi-destroyed body of a Physical and Technical Institute in Kharkiv, or seized back in 2014 by the National Space Center in Yevpatoria. The competent speaker can be representative of Ukraine in COSPAR Prof. Oleg Cheremnyh, who managed to evacuate from his destroyed house in suburb of Kyiv, after two weeks’ siege of the invaders. Unfortunately, not all colleagues can participate in the discussion. On March 13, at an attempt to remove his family, Deputy Director of the Institute of Semiconductors of our Academy Prof. Vasyl Kladko was shot.
Crimes against humanity with signs of genocide committed by Russian aggressors do not concern only Ukrainians but must also include the conscience of each, in particular experts in space research. Therefore, from our point of view, the ethical standards of scientific cooperation should provide for certain actions aimed at judging those who are passive or active in contributing to aggression and destruction of the international security system. The ESA recently made a serious but responsible decision to stop cooperation with Russia under the ExoMars project. NASA is also taking steps to limit further cooperation with Russia.
Taking into account the above, Ukrainian COSPAR Committee strongly requests the following:
1. Publish our application on the site of COSPAR.
2. Adopt measures to limit the participation of Russian institutions in COSPAR activities.
3. If the position of COSPAR on the reaction to the Russian aggression remains unchanged, the Ukrainian COSPAR Committee will consider the suspension of the participation of Ukraine in COSPAR
With hope for understanding,
Chair of the Space Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences,
Chair of the Ukrainian COSPAR Committee
Director of the Main Astronomical Observatory
of National Academy of Science of Ukraine, (NASU) Prof. Ya. Yatskiv
Deputy Chair of the Ukrainian COSPAR Committee
Director of Space Research Institute NASU-SSAU Prof. O. Fedorov
Representative of Ukraine in COSPAR
Deputy Director of Space Research Institute NASU-SSAU Prof. O. Cheremnykh
Secretary/Contact/Member Prof. I. Vavilova