Ukrainian, Russian radiologists still friendly despite crisis

By Rebekah Moan, AuntMinnie.com staff writer

March 6, 2014 -- VIENNA - The political situation in Ukraine has had no bearing on ECR 2014, according to both the ECR president and the president of the European Society of Radiology (ESR). This is particularly potent as this year's ECR focuses on Russia and has a Russian president.

Ukraine is experiencing political unrest centered in Crimea. The area, which has an ethnically Russian majority, has effectively been seized by Russian military forces. On 6 March, the Crimean parliament voted unanimously "to enter into the Russian Federation with the rights of a subject of the Russian Federation," Reuters reported.

Regarding how this affects ECR, President Dr. Valentin Sinitsyn, PhD, said during a press conference question-and-answer session that the congress is apolitical, but nevertheless the situation concerns everyone.

"We are looking forward to a peaceful end to this conflict," said Sinitsyn, who is also head of the radiology department at the Federal Center of Medicine and Rehabilitation in Moscow. "As far as Ukrainian radiologists, we are good friends, and every year we are inviting our Ukrainian colleagues to our congresses."

There are approximately 60 Ukrainian radiologists at the meeting -- not a big number from a country as large as Ukraine, but that's mostly due to economic restraints, he added.

"And I can tell you that tomorrow we are going to have a so-called Russian evening, a big reception for Russian radiologists," he said. "But we have invited our Ukrainian friends together with the presidents to our evening, and they kindly accepted our invitation, so I see no problems with our Ukrainian friends on a personal or professional level."

Dr. Guy Frija, president of the ESR, jumped in and quoted Louis Pasteur, who said, "Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity."

"That means for us as doctors or scientific doctors, we don't care about the political situation," said Frija, who is a consultant radiologist in the imaging department at Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou in Paris. "We have to go across the political situation. It's exactly the same as the Middle East where we have friends in Syria, Iraq, and Iran, in Israel, whatever the political situation."

"So our goal today, as perfectly said by Valentin, is to keep and to strengthen our network between us," he continued. "This is the only thing that we can do; we're trying to do our best."

View the video interview below with Sinitsyn for more on this topic.

Interview with ECR 2014 President Dr. Valentin Sinitsyn, PhD, from Moscow.

Video produced by Christof. G. Pelz I GRAFIFANT Creation. Grafik. Photo I www.grafifant.at


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