MPs nod to Czech departure from nuke research institute in Russia

The Chamber of Deputies approved the termination of Czech membership of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research seated in Dubna near Moscow in a sped-up procedure today, which the Education Ministry proposed in relation to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the West’s anti-Russian sanctions.
The abrogation of the relevant agreement and the termination of Czech membership still needs consensus of the Senate, the upper house of Czech parliament.

In the Chamber of Deputies, the proposal was supported by all 139 deputies present from across the political spectrum.
„The current international political situation is the reason why we are proposing to terminate the Czech membership of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research as quickly as possible,“ says the government’s report accompanying the bill.

The institute is an inter-governmental institution, 82 percent of its budget has been covered by the Russian Federation whose influence dominates the organisation, the report says.
The institute was established in 1956 with the aim to develop the theoretical and experimental research into the particle physics, nuclear physics, condensed matter physics and radiobiology.

Amid Russia’s clear aggression against Ukraine, it is untenable for Czechia to participate in the operation of the institute, Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky (Pirates) told the deputies today.
He said the institute is a residuum from the Warsaw Pact period and that Poland, too, is actively working on the termination of its membership, while other countries like Slovakia have frozen their own.
„We are not the only one, and I believe this is a right step,“Lipavsky said.

The decision on the termination of the cooperation was made by then education minister Petr Gazdik (Mayors and Independents, STAN) on March 4. He said he found it impossible for Czechia to continue cooperating on nuclear technologies research with a country whose military action jeopardised the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Gazdik was reacting to the Russian army’s attack on the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhia, Ukraine.

Czechia paid an annual contribution of about 5.6 million USD for its membership of the institute.

„Although the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research is among widely recognised workplaces, the termination of the Czech membership will mean no significant restriction of the Czech physical research, as a large number of the scientific branches can be covered by Czechia’s membership of other research organisations,“ the government report says.