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Russia becomes Member State of the ESRF


The Russian Federation has sealed its membership to the European Synchrotron, the ESRF today (23 June 2014). A delegation from Russia took part in a ceremony at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility to officially mark the accession of the Russian Federation to the ESRF Convention. It follows the decision of the Russian government on 17 December 2013 to accept the invitation from the twelve current ESRF Member States to join the ESRF.

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Around 150 people attended the event. They included the signatories of the Protocol of Accession Mr Veniamin Kaganov – Deputy Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, Mr Stefan Kern – First Counsellor at the Embassy of Germany in Paris, Mrs Inga Marie Weidemann – Minister at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Paris and empowered Heads and Members of the Delegations to the ESRF Council.

The Protocol of Accession was signed in the presence of Mr Richard Samuel – Préfet de l'Isère, Mr Eric Piolle – Maire de Grenoble, Mr Christophe Ferrari – Président de l’Agglomération Grenoble-Alpes Métropole, Mr Bertrand Girard – Chair of ESRF Council, Mr Pavel Kashkarov – Vice-Director of the National Research Center “Kurchatov Institute”, the Members of the Russian Delegation and the Heads and Members of the Delegations to the ESRF Council.

The signing today means the Russian Federation acquires a 6% share of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility Company.

8723-resize500x333.jpg                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Director General of the ESRF Francesco Sette greets Mr Veniamin Kaganov - Deputy Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation outside ESRF. CREDIT: Ludovic Fortoul/ESRF

The partnership between the Russian Federation and the ESRF has been a long standing one. In 2008 and 2011 ESRF signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Research Centre Kurchatov Institute (NRC-KI) with the aim of preparing for the accession of the Russian Federation to the ESRF. Since 2012 Russian scientists have had access to the ESRF peer review research programme under the same conditions as other partner countries.

Director General of the ESRF Francesco Sette said that the collaboration between Russian scientists in fact goes back more than 20 years:

“Many Russian scientists and engineers work at the ESRF and we have excellent links with scientists from the NRC Kurchatov Institute. We are pleased that the partnership has grown from the sharing of scientific expertise in many key fields, requiring the world breaking performances of the ESRF, to a long-term engagement of the Russian Federation in supporting the ESRF”.




Mr Veniamin Kaganov - Deputy Minister of Education and Science for the Russian Federation. CREDIT: Ludovic Fortoul/ESRF




Russian and ESRF Member States scientists have a long tradition of working together at the ESRF including in the fields of X-ray Optics, X-ray Crystallography, X-ray Spectroscopy and Scattering applied to condensed matter science, Macromolecular X-ray Crystallography, High Pressure Science and Nuclear Resonant X-ray Scattering. Today, among ESRF users there are key scientists from more than 20 prestigious Russian Research Centres and Universities.

Francesco Sette added: “We expect Russia formally becoming a member will further foster the Russian use of the ESRF, and we look forward to the excellent science that will no doubt result from ongoing and future collaborations. Today’s historical signature has been made possible thanks to the major commitment of the National Research Centre “Kurchatov Institute” and in particular of its Director, Mr Mikhail Kovalchuk, who has supported and encouraged the necessary actions to lead us to today’s agreement and to open up the ESRF to the whole Russian scientific community”.

The Russian Federation’s National Research Center “Kurchatov Institute”, which will be the Russian Member of the ESRF Council, was represented at today’s ceremony by its Vice-Director Mr Pavel Kashkarov, and by Mr Mikhail Rychev and Mr Alexander Petrov.










The delegation during today's signing ceremony. CREDIT: Ludovic Fortoul/ESRF

Mr Rychev – Deputy Director of the National Research Center “Kurchatov Institute” and Special Representative of the “Kurchatov Institute” at European XFEL and Member of the Russian Delegation, commented: “Russian scientists using the ESRF look forward to a stronger collaboration and involvement in the ESRF in the coming years, and are very happy about the positive steps taken by the Russian government in supporting the research activities at ESRF”.

Mr Bertrand Girard, Chairman of the ESRF Council, who witnessed the signing ceremony on behalf of the Council, expressed his satisfaction about the successful conclusion of a long period of negotiations, and the good will of all parties involved in reaching today’s result.

He said: “The accession of Russia is an important step confirming and strengthening the international leading role of ESRF. ESRF is facing a new challenge with its Upgrade Programme Phase II. The scientific and technical contribution of the Russian scientific community will play an important role in its successful delivery, bringing ESRF to even higher levels of excellence.”

Further information

More details about the agreement made agreed in December can be found here:

More details about previous agreements with Russia can be found here:

Top image: From left to right: Gabriele Fioni - Head of the french delegation to the ESRF Council, Francesco Sette - Director General of the ESRF, Mr Veniamin Kaganov - Deputy Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, Mr Bertrand Girard - Chair of the ESRF Council. CREDIT: Ludovic Fortoul/ESRF