Full Statement of IMPF on Ukraine; calls on all those within the music and licensing industry to immediately sever economic, business, political and socio-cultural ties with all Russian counterparts, members, companies, affiliates, and organisations.
Appalled as we all are by Putin’s unprovoked war on Ukraine, it would be easy for us to conclude, for a whole range of motives, that we should still be doing business or maintaining links with Russia and our Russian partners. Reasons for inaction abound; war is nothing to do with music; our Russian music partners bear no responsibility for the conflict; we do not want to harm Russian artists and others in the creative sector who are taking a brave stand against tyranny; or we risk discarding relationships built up with Russian publishers, labels, and other actors.
The crisis that is unfolding is different and requires a more radical response. The world has awoken to the sobering realisation that Putin is not intent on building stable relations with Ukraine but on destroying it, on stripping it of its right to exist as an independent, democratic nation at peace with its neighbours and in charge of its own destiny. This is not a two-sided conflict but a heavily lop-sided one. Ukraine’s only provocation is the desire of its 40 million inhabitants to be a stable democracy with closer ties to Europe. Putin is trying to bomb these people into submission. He is intent on flattening their country and has threatened nuclear war if the West does not step aside while he does so. He will probably not stop at Ukraine in pursuit of his bid to expand Russia’s sphere of influence over its unwilling neighbours.
Our strongest weapon against Putin is solidarity. Solidarity with the international sanctions that are proving to be the best weapon we have against Putin’s expansionism. Solidarity not just with Ukrainians but also with Russians themselves. We would be letting the citizens of both nations down badly if our response to the war was to keep doing business as usual. Artistic communities in both countries will not forgive inaction, even if their hardship, and ours, increases in the short term.
This unprecedented act of war and the indiscriminate violence with which it is being prosecuted, is forcing a radical rethink to the way the West does business and indeed does politics. This is the new normal and we cannot avoid it. Statements of sympathy for the plight of Ukrainians will not wash.
We are required to go further and withdraw from all dealings with Russia and suspend all activities with any Russian entity involved in our industry and community; IMPF therefore calls on all those within the music and licensing community to immediately sever economic, business, political and socio-cultural ties with all Russian counterparts, members, companies, affiliates, and organisations.
The time to act is now.
IMPF realises the consequences of any such actions will affect the artists, musicians and composers in Russia who are profoundly anti-war and anti-Putin.
IMPF recognises that while this is a problem primarily affecting the European mainland, this act of war has acute global and geopolitical repercussions.
IMPF is establishing a Solidarity Fund for Ukrainian Music Community Professionals, details of which will be circulated to IMPF members shortly.
IMPF is part of a broad coalition of European cultural sector organisations that strongly condemns the war actions of Russia and underpins the cultural cooperation between Ukraine and the EU. See the Statement here and please sign the petition here.
See IMPF short statement condemning the war here.