Russia is engaging in an unprovoked and unjustified war on Ukraine which is already taking a high toll on citizens. NGOs across the region and beyond have come together to stand in solidarity with all people living in Ukraine, including those stranded at the Ukraine’s border and denied safe passage, as well as all those in Russia who are paying a high price for calling for peace.
Europe is seeking ways to isolate Russia and bring a swift end to this war. One way is through stemming the export of timber and wood products which Russia relies heavily on. In 2021, the export of timber and wood products from the Russian Federation was US $13.9 billion. The EU is a major market for this wood. The proceeds from the sale of timber could be used to sustain the Russian war effort.
Civil society, including Fern has therefore signed a joint appeal calling on the EU and other governments to extend sanctions to all types of Russian timber and wood products. The statement asks the EU to ensure that its response to the war, in particular the shift to increased energy independence, is undertaken in line with an ambitious European Green Deal, Fit-for-55 package and Biodiversity Strategy. Europe’s nature and climate must not be a price to pay for this war, and the signatory NGOs are concerned that some forest industries are already calling for the removal of forest protection measures to facilitate increased logging.