ECU suspends the Russian and Belarusian Chess Federations

Press release by the European Chess Union

The Board of the European Chess Union met in extraordinary session on Thursday, 3rd of March to discuss the situation in Ukraine and appropriate measures.

The European Chess Union strongly condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the involvement of Belarus, and expresses its solidarity and support for the Ukrainian people. We feel deep sorrow for all the victims of the war and their families.

The ECU condemns the members of the chess community who have expressed their support for the brutal and unacceptable invasion of Ukraine.

The ECU is setting up a special communication channel for any person or entity willing to assist the Ukrainian #Chess Community. For this purpose, the special hashtag #supportUkraineChess has been established. Already several offers of assistance have been received from European federations.

The ECU Board, taking in consideration the recent decisions of FIDE Council, the recommendations of the IOC and acting within its constitutional powers declare:

  1. The ECU is committed to the ECU General Assembly 2014 unanimous resolution respecting sports jurisdiction according to the IOC rules and territorial integrity according to the UN maps and resolutions.
  2. Since the participation of Ukrainian Chess players in the forthcoming European Championships and thus their qualification to the World Championship cycle is constrained, ECU will initiate a qualification event to be organized in 2023 with special zonal qualification spots allocated for the respective Ukraine’s zone.
  3. With immediate effect, ECU suspends the Russian and Belarusian Chess Federations. The consequences include, but are not limited to:
    • ECU suspends all competitions/events/seminars to be held in both Russia and Belarus and prohibits the display and use of both countries’ flags, anthems, colors, and symbols.
    • With immediate effect, Russian and Belarusian national teams and clubs will be excluded from all events on the ECU calendar. The decision shall be ratified by the ECU General Assembly. ECU notes that the major European team events are scheduled for October and November 2022.
    • Individual players representing Russian or Belarusian federations shall be excluded from all ECU competitions unless they change federation or by their expressed will represent the FIDE flag in rating list*.
    • No trainer, arbiter or official from Russia or Belarus will perform any duty during the forthcoming European Chess Championships or in any subsequent ECU events.
  4. The ECU Board notes the proposal of the Ukrainian Chess Federation to expel the Russian Chess Federation, and this matter together with the above ECU Board decisions shall be considered by the following ECU General Assembly. With a strong concern, the ECU Board emphasizes that the Supervisory Board and Board of Trustees of the Russian Chess Federation include several sanctioned individuals, including the Russian Minister of Defense. The ECU Board recommends that the matter should be considered urgently by FIDE.

*Official application to FIDE: federations@fide.com

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