Russia banned from Eurovision 2022 as organisers say it would bring contest 'into disrepute'

Greece
Sat, 26 Feb 2022 10:59 GMT
The EBU has announced that no Russian act will participate in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest."The Executive Board of the EBU made the decision following a recommendation earlier today by the Eurovision Song Contest's governing body, the Reference Gro...
Russia banned from Eurovision 2022 as organisers say it would bring contest 'into disrepute'
The EBU has announced that no Russian act will participate in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

"The Executive Board of the EBU made the decision following a recommendation earlier today by the Eurovision Song Contest's governing body, the Reference Group, based on the rules of the event and the values of the EBU," the organisation said in a statement on Friday evening.

"The decision reflects concern that, in light of the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine, the inclusion of a Russian entry in this year’s Contest would bring the competition into disrepute."

We remain dedicated to protecting the values of a cultural competition which promotes international exchange and understanding, brings audiences together, celebrates diversity through music and unites Europe on one stage.

Organisers of the Eurovision Song Contest had been hit with a number of requests to ban Russia from competing in this year's competition.

Scheduled to be held between 10-14 May in Turin, Italy, the contest is split into two semi-final heats before the grand final on Saturday 14th. Both Russia and Ukraine were listed as performing in the first Semi-Final on 10 May. Ukraine are currently scheduled to end the first half, and Russia were listed to end the second.

What happened in the lead up?

After Russia began a full military assault on Ukraine on Thursday, many people began to suggest this should result in a ban from the contest. But yesterday evening, the EBU (European Broadcasting Union - the organisation behind the contest) remained impartial on the matter, releasing a statement saying:

“The Eurovision Song Contest is a non-political cultural event. The EBU is however concerned about current events in Ukraine and will continue to closely monitor the situation.”

Chief amongst those calling for Russia's suspension is Ukrainian state broadcaster UA:PBC, the chair of whose board, Mykola Chernotytsky, wrote an open letter asking the EBU to suspend Russia's membership of the union and exclude Russia from Eurovision Song Contest 2022.

"As you know, on February 21, 2022, the Russian Federation decided to recognize the "independence" of its quasi-entities in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine – the so-called "Luhansk People’s Republic" and "Donetsk People’s Republic". By such actions, the Russian side disregarded international law, the UN Charter, and violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders," she wrote.

"Such actions are the result of Russia’s long-term aggressive policy, which is implemented in part through propaganda through biased Russian media, including EBU broadcasters First Channel and the All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company."

On Friday, Finland's national broadcaster Yle said they would pull out if Russia was permitted to keep their place.

Russia had not yet decided who was to represent them in Turin in May. Ukraine, however, has already incurred political controversy with the story of their representation.

Singer Alina Pash won Ukraine's national competition with her song "Tini Zabutykh Predkiv" but the singer had to withdraw due to accusations that she visited Crimea illegally in 2015.

 

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