The Russian Academy of Sciences held a meeting of the Presidium, at which, among other things, it adopted a document supporting colleagues from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) of the Republic of Belarus. As it turned out, scientists from a neighboring state had concerns about the hostile attitude and aggressive actions of some of the protesters towards them.
What is the reason for this hostility RAS President Alexander Sergeev explained at a press conference after the meeting: “This organization - the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Belarus - is considered, judging by the standards of those former Soviet republics that have moved to the European Union, obsolete or unnecessary. Perhaps part of the Belarusian opposition has formed the opinion that the Academy of Sciences is some kind of relic of the past. But I want to say that in the Baltic countries after 1991 the academies of sciences ceased to exist altogether. "
Meanwhile, the Russian Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Belarus have many joint projects and programs. For example, in space exploration, agriculture. There are programs to create a component base for optics and optoelectronics and to study hydrocarbon reserves in Belarus.
This is also stated in the statement of the Russian Academy of Sciences: “Our academies are reliable partners. <...> These days, the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences emphasizes the particular importance, urgency and necessity of cooperation with the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Belarus and expresses words of support to colleagues. <...> The RAS Presidium will make the necessary efforts to preserve and develop traditional scientific ties between the Russian Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Belarus. "
Academician Sergeev called his Belarusian colleagues “a good group of scientists” and “leaders in the post-Soviet space”. “Our concern is connected with this. We want the National Academy of Sciences to retain its potential, resources and influence far beyond the borders of Belarus, regardless of the development of the political situation in the country. This is what we stand for, for maintaining cooperation. We are engaged in science, and not discussing politics, ”said the head of the Russian Academy of Sciences, answering the question of whether it is worth looking for hints of support in the statement of the presidium Alexander Lukashenko...
But the appearance of this document is caused by another reason. The scientific community has different assessments of the events taking place in the neighboring country. Recently, a letter in defense of the Belarusian opposition appeared on the Internet, and it began to be interpreted as an expression of the position of all Russian scientists.
“Of course, any scientist has the right to express his personal value judgment in relation to the post-election events in the Republic of Belarus. But the civic position of individual members of the academy cannot be equated with the institutional position of the RAS as a state academy of sciences, which is a non-political organization. Therefore, the presidium considered itself entitled to make such a statement, ”explained Alexander Sergeev.