We, the undersigned people from various countries around the world, including the USA, express our great dismay about President Obama's list of sanctions on top Russian officials. The world in 2014 does not need a new Cold War. It needs de-escalation instead of a spiral of sanctions. The solution of the Ukrainian and Crimean crisis is dialogue and diplomatic efforts which include all parties concerned instead of individualized sanctions.

We consider it to be a particular mistake to "sanction" Vladimir Yakunin who is not only President of Russian Railways but also the founder and president of the World Public Forum - Dialogue of Civilizations which enjoys consultative status in United Nations' ECOSOC. For more than a decade Vladimir Yakunin has devoted a lot of efforts and activities to dialogue among different religions, cultures and nations as the alternative to armed conflicts. He has stood up against hatred, xenophobia, antisemitism as well as Islamophobia.

Many people around the world know of and greatly value Dr. Yakunin's extraordinary and tireless work for peace and justice and the resolution of conflicts.

He exemplifies the great potential that the Dialogue of Civilizations can offer towards peaceful coexistence in our world. Dr.Yakunin has always spoken out forcefully for the protection of the environment, sustainable growth, ecology, non-violence, social entrepreneurship and value-led education. He continues to inspire and empower others to develop their hidden strengths.

His efforts are appreciated throughout the world, including the United States of America. We want Vladimir Yakunin to continue without interruption and hindrance his work for a better and peaceful world where dialogue can prevail.

We demand that Dr. Yakunin enjoys free access to all United Nations Headquarters, including New York, as president of an INGO with consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council.

Walter Schwimmer, Former Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Vienna, Austria
Fred Dallmayr, Professor at the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA
Kamran Mofid, President, Globalization for the Common Good Initiative, Coventry, UK
Raffaele Marchetti, Professor of Political Science, LUISS Guido Carli, Rome, Italy  
Piotr Dutkiewicz, Professor of Global Politics, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
Jens Wendland, Professor University of Arts, Berlin; foreign Professor Journalistic faculty MGU, Moscow
Fabio Petito, Professor of International Politics, Sussex University, UK
Hans Koechler, President, International Progress Organization, Innsbruck, Austria
Steve Szeghi, Professor of Economics, Wilmington College, Ohio, USA
Dimitri Kitsikis, University of Ottawa, Fellow, Royal Society of Canada, Honorary President, The Dimitri Kitsikis Public Foundation, Ottawa, Canada
Chandra Muzaffar, President, International Movement for a Just World (JUST), Malaysia
Alberto Melloni, Director of the John XXIII Foundation for religious studies, Bologna, Unesco Chair for religious pluralism and peace, Italy
Akeel Bilgrami, Sidney Morgenbesser Chair in Philosophy, Professor, Committee on Global Thought, Director, South Asian Institute, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
Vincenzo Scotti, President of Link Campus University and former Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Italy, Italy
Marco Emanuele, Supervisor of the website Linee strategiche (a narrative of global complexity) in collaboration with Link Campus University, Italy
Mario Lettieri, Former Undersecretary of Economics of Romano Prodi's government, Rome Italy
Paolo Raimondi, Economist, Editorialist of the Italian Economic Daily ItaliaOggi, Rome Italy
Tiberio Graziani, President, Institute of Advanced Studies in Geopolitics and Auxiliary Sciences (ISAG), Director of “Geopolitica”, Italy
Joseph Camilleri, Professor, Director, Centre for Dialogue, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Centre for Dialogue, La Trobe University, Australia
Richard Falk, Professor Emeritus of International Law, Princeton University, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories, USA
Marco Ricceri, General Secretary of EURISPES, Institute of Political, Economic and Social Studies, Rome, Italy
Dario Rivolta, Vicepresident of IPALMO, Institute for the Relations betwen Italy and African, Latin American, Middle and Far East Countries, Former Deputy President of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Italian Parliament, International Trade Consultant, Rome, Italy
Giorgio Vitangeli, Economic Expert, Director of the Italian Magazine "La Finanza", Rome, Italy
Chanda Singh, Publisher, Editor: World Affairs, The Journal of International Issues, New Delhi, India 
Jamshid Damooei, Professor and Chair of Department of Economics, Finance & Accounting, California Lutheran University, USA
Gian Guido Folloni, President ISIAMED, Institute for Asia and Mediterranean, Former Italian Minister for the Relations with the Parliament, Rome Italy
Riccardo Pedrizzi, President UCID Latium (Union of Christian Enterpreneurs and Managers), Former President of Senate Finance Committe, Rome Italy
Adrian Pabst, Senior Lecturer in Politics, School of Politics and IR, University of Kent; Visiting Professor, Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Lille (Sciences Po), UK

The position expressed in this statement represents personal opinion of the signatories and not necessarily reflects the one of the organizations they are affiliated with.