The International Geographical Union (IGU), of which the Society is a full member, has suspended the IGU National Committee of Russia. The full statement from the IGU Executive Committee can be read below.
The IGU has already expressed its strong objection to the invasion of Ukraine, an independent sovereign state, by Russian armed forces. However, the escalation of the military offence and its consequent humanitarian crisis warrants our further response. The Executive Committee of the International Geographical Union (IGU) has, therefore, taken the unprecedented step of suspending membership of the IGU National Committee of Russia with immediate effect, pending a formal decision on its membership at the next IGU General Assembly in July 2022.
The Russian National Committee of the IGU has an integral, symbolic association with the Russian Geographical Society (RGS). The RGS President is the Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation and Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, chairs the RGS Board of Trustees. Their decisions underpin the illegal invasion of Ukraine. The IGU Executive Committee condemns the actions of the Russian government, which are counter to the purposes and values of the IGU as indicated in its Statutes. Under these circumstances, the Executive Committee considers that the IGU cannot continue to engage formally with the Russian National Committee.
Nevertheless, the IGU Executive Committee recognises that many Russian geographers are appalled by and strongly object to the continued presence of Russian armed forces and aggression in Ukraine and have openly called for an end to the military operations there. Accordingly, in suspending Russia’s formal IGU membership, the IGU maintains an open door for continued engagement with our colleagues in Russia in their individual capacities.