"Even though we do not currently have any students or academics at Ukrainian universities, we do have (guest) students and academics from Ukraine on our campus. We know from personal conversations that some of our employees are also worried about family and friends in Ukraine and Russia and that they are worried with them. Our thoughts and sympathies are with them. As well as with all the people who are blamelessly at the mercy of this political drama.
At the same time, we are very concerned about the future of German-Russian academic relations. The University of Erfurt currently has no cooperation agreements with Ukrainian universities, but it does have four with Russian universities - in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Novosibirsk. It sees itself as a cosmopolitan university, as a community that wants to contribute with its work to the sustainable, peaceful and responsible solution of central tasks for the future. The freedom of research and teaching, the cross-border exchange of scientific knowledge and of students, teachers and researchers are cornerstones of our value system. This requires the worldwide observance of international law. Science needs peace!
We will observe the developments on the ground and seek exchange with other universities, scientific institutions and associations in this conflict. Together with our International Office, we are always available to answer questions about the stay of students and researchers in Ukraine and Russia, but also for guests from these countries."
The German Rectors' Conference (HRK) has already condemned the Russian attack on Ukraine in an official statement. Other universities and science organisations are also expressing their concern and solidarity these days.