The CIPC is not a political organisation. However, like many organisations the CIPC has been approached and asked to ban Russia from our competitions. This is a very difficult issue and a decision which has not been taken likely.
All the members of the CIPC Board have discussed this matter at length and a consensus has been reached.
The consensus is that the CIPC Board condemns Russia’s aggressive invasion of an independent country. The CIPC Board is against all war and especially the horror which is happening in the Ukraine.
Many countries and organisations have chosen to use sanctions to put pressure on Russia by putting pressure on its people, its finances, and its access to Western commodities. The CIPC have great sympathy for the Ukrainian people. We can understand why we have been asked to show solidarity by taking action to ban Russia from our competitions.
For the CIPC Board the international brotherhood of the pipe is about friendship and individuals not war, politics or sanctions. The CIPC Board do not believe banning Russian teams from CIPC events, at this time, will help the Ukraine with its fight to remain independent, even though there is strength of feeling that this is what we should do. The CIPC Board believe it is difficult for people within Russia to speak out against what is happening. It is an awkward time for us all to know what to say and do with many conflicting emotions and pressures.
Any CIPC sanctions would only hurt us and our pipe smoking friends in Russia, not the regimen making the war. The CIPC Board believe our sanctions will not hurt the leaders and politicians making the decisions (unlike other organisations’ sanctions can) but they will break up the brotherhood of the pipe.
The CIPC Board have decided not to ban Russian pipe clubs from our competitions, at this time. But, as a demonstration of our solidarity, we have agreed to make a financial donation to the Ukrainian disaster relief fund. This will be of real and practical help.
The CIPC Board hope you will understand and support this difficult decision.