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CERN Voted in December To Expel Russia and Belarus, Ending Decades of International Scientific Collaboration

CERN's main site in Meyrin, Switzerland. CC/Brücke-Osteuropa

March 10, 2024 (EIRNS)—The European Council for Nuclear Research (CERN), founded in 1954, operates the largest particle physics laboratory in the world. Its mission was to bring nations together through peaceful scientific collaboration, and, even in the Cold War, it included Soviet scientists and laboratories, up to the present day. Director-General Rolf Heuer invoked this dedication to the promotion of unfettered scientific inquiry on in 2014 CERN’s 60th anniversary, writing that “CERN has more than fulfilled the hopes and dreams of advancing science for peace.”

But on Dec. 15, 2023, CERN’s Governing Council voted to cut ties with Russia and Belarus for its special military operation in Ukraine, choosing not to renew the international cooperation agreements CERN had with the two countries as of Nov. 30, 2024. Geneva Observer wrote on Feb. 22, 2024: “The decision capped months of intense scientific diplomatic activity and behind-the-scenes discussions, often pitting a scientific community convinced that international scientific collaboration is a driver for peace even at times of great political tensions, against European governments united in the idea that Russia should be harshly sanctioned for its attack on Ukraine.”

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