The world-wide leadership and the undersigned members of the Collegium Oto-Rhino-Laryngologicum Amicitiae Sacrum (CORLAS) condemn President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine and the violence and humanitarian disaster it has caused.
CORLAS was founded in 1926 following World War I, by Charles Emile Benjamins and Adriaan De Kleyn, to exchange scientific knowledge and to bring together physicians and scientists of Europe and to bind up and heal the wounds of war. Today President Putin’s unprovoked military aggression against its neighbor Ukraine is too reminiscent of Hitler’s actions invading Poland, which led to WWII. We choose our words carefully as we do not believe that the Russian people have a role in this aggression. In fact, many have bravely protested and been jailed as they also condemn Putin’s actions.
We seek peaceful means to resolve disputes. The actions of Putin blatantly violate the United Nations Charter, which says “All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.” He ignores the Budapest Memorandum of 1994, which obligated Russia and others to respect the sovereignty, independence, and existing borders of Ukraine.
We join the over 200 Nobel Prize laureates in “condemning these military actions and President Putin’s essential denial of the legitimacy of Ukraine’s existence”:
“Russia’s security concerns can be addressed within the framework of the UN Charter, the 1975 Helsinki Final Act, and the 1999 Paris Charter. To make war, as President Putin and his collaborators have done, is an unwarranted, bloody, and unproductive way to a future.
The Russian invasion will stain the international reputation of the Russian state for decades to come. It will pose barriers to its economy and inflict hardships on its population. The sanctions imposed will restrict the ease of movement of its talented and hardworking people in the world. Why raise this fence between Russia and the world now?
Hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers, Russian soldiers, and Ukrainian civilians, including children, have died already. It’s so sad, so unnecessary. We gather in this appeal to call upon the Russian government to stop its invasion of Ukraine and withdraw its military forces from Ukraine.
We respect the calm and the strength of the Ukrainian people. We are with you. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of all, Ukrainians and Russians, who have died and been injured already. May peace come to this piece of our beautiful world.”