March 3, 2022
The International Feline Federation (FIFe) has weighed in on the Ukraine crisis, banning Russian-owned cats from competing in its shows as a sanction for Moscow’s military attack on the former Soviet republic.
“The FIFe executive board is shocked and horrified that the army of the Russian Federation invaded the Republic of Ukraine and started a war,” the Paris-based federation said on Tuesday. The group added that it “cannot just witness these atrocities and do nothing.”
As a result, cats belonging to Russian residents will be banned from entry at FIFe shows. In addition, no cats bred in Russia can be imported and registered in a FIFe pedigree book, the group said.
No cat belonging to exhibitors living in Russia may be entered at any FIFe show outside Russia, regardless of which organization these exhibitors hold their membership in.
The sanctions will remain in place through at least May and may be extended, presumably depending on what transpires in Ukraine. FIFe said it will use some of its budget to support cat breeders and fanciers in Ukraine. “Our Ukrainian fellow feline fanciers are desperately trying to take care of their cats and other animals in these trying circumstances,” the federation said.
FIFe is a federation of cat registries with member organizations in 39 countries in Europe, South America and Asia. It’s also one of nine World Cat Congress members.
The international punishment of Russia over the Ukraine attack has extended far beyond economic sanctions against the country. Russian athletes have been barred from competitions, and individuals in various walks of life have been penalized. Russian conductor Valery Gergiev was fired from his position at the Munich Philharmonic for failing to denounce Russian President Vladimir Putin. He also lost bookings with the Bavarian State Opera and was forced to resign as honorary president of the Edinburgh International Festival. Legendary soprano Anna Netrebko also lost bookings in Germany despite issuing a statement in opposition to the war.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov complained on Wednesday that Western sanctions have been aimed not just at leaders of the state, but also ordinary people, contrary to international norms. “I did not think that these sanctions, caused by impotent anger, would cover the sports movement, cultural exchange and would concern contacts between people,” he told media outlet Al Jazeera.