Belgian universities have announced that they will be suspending their relationship with Russian universities that signed a declaration of solidarity with Putin’s invasion of Ukraine published by the Russian Union of Rectors.
The union stated their support for Putin’s so-called “special military operation” in Ukraine, which aims to achieve the “denazification and demilitarisation” of Ukraine (which is currently led by Jewish President Volodymyr Zelenskyy).
On March 10, the Belgian Council of Rectors decided to formally suspend their relations with those who signed this document. In order to not penalise students currently involved in programs or exchanges in Belgium or Russia, students will be able to conclude their year of study without penalty.
Belgian universities will continue to welcome Russian students, so long as they apply individually and not through their institutions.
The Belgian Council of Rectors has explicitly stated that it does not intend to make “individual Russian students the victims of the choices made by their regime.”
Unfortunately, some Russian researchers, opposed to the decision of the current regime, may find themselves cut off from important projects.
It will now be down to individual researchers from these universities to maintain their relationships with other professionals from their former host institutions, without the support of their respective faculties.