The GÉANT community held its first hybrid General Assembly (GA) on 23 and 24 March in Amsterdam.
As the Russian invasion into Ukraine and the bombing of Ukrainian cities relentlessly continues, the hearts and minds of the GA participants were again with our colleagues in the Ukrainian NREN, URAN.
An early topic of the GÉANT GA was a discussion of the situation in Ukraine and consequently a review of our interactions with the Belarusian NREN, BASNET.
Yevhenii Preobrazhenskyi, Executive Director of URAN had recorded a video message for his fellow NREN Directors in the GÉANT community, in which he thanked the GÉANT Board for the de-peering with the Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy (KIAE) and stressed again that “neutrality of science in times of war is a delusion”.
Yevhenii also thanked all community colleagues for the ongoing support given technically and emotionally to URAN and its staff. Following Yevhenii’s video address, the GA participants held a minute of silence for the victims of the Russian bloodshed in Ukraine.
GÉANT CEO, Erik Huizer, then led the discussion reviewing the situation of the Belarusian NREN, BASNET. He explained that following the sanctions decided on the European level, BASNET has been ceased as a partner in the GN4-3 project as well as the EAPConnect2 project. An agreement has been found with BASNET that they would henceforth carry the full costs of their connectivity to the GÉANT network. The GA agreed that this was acceptable.
It was also agreed that the membership of BASNET in the GÉANT Association was at this moment not up for debate. It was very clear though that these decisions will immediately be revisited should Belarus actively join the Russian aggression against Ukraine. The BASNET representative thanked the community, stressing how important it is for BASNET to be part of the GÉANT community and network – today and in the future.
Later, addressing the GA participants during the evening dinner, Erik Huizer reminded the community of our four core values: Trust, Passion, Innovation and, most importantly, Community. He again thanked all colleagues for their ongoing support to the URAN staff and their network and services and reminded us all, that only Together we will remain strong.