eurovision

EBU bans Russia from competition at Eurovision 2022

After the trickle we have seen all day of public broadcasters asking the European Broadcasting Union not to allow Russia to participate in Eurovision 2022, the EBU has taken a decision on the matter.

The European Broadcasting Union, the body in charge of staging the Eurovision Song Contest, has decided to expel Russia from the 2022 edition to be held next May in Turin because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The decision has been taken on the recommendation of the Eurovision Song Contest’s governing body, the Reference Group, as well as on the basis of the rules of the event and the values of the EBU itself. Furthermore, this decision has been endorsed and supported by the EBU Television Committee. According to the EBU statement, the decision has been taken after extensive consultation among the EBU member states.

The EBU states that they remain dedicated to protecting the values of the competition, which declares it to be cultural and non-political, and which promotes cultural exchange and international understanding, brings Europe (and the world) together to celebrate diversity through music and unites us on the same stage.

europe takes a stand

Throughout the day today, we have seen how different European TV stations have been showing their different positions on Russia’s participation in the competition after the invasion in Ukraine:

SWEDEN

This response was not as expected and Swedish television (SVT) was the first to say that the position offered should be reconsidered where the CEO of the channel made it clear that the situation was not as it should be:

I sympathise with the basic idea of Eurovision as an apolitical event – but the situation in Europe is extremely serious, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It crosses all limits. We have asked the EBU to change and we will follow the developments closely

Hanna Stjarne

CITI ZĒNI (LATVIA)

In the evening, this year’s Latvian representatives: Citi Zēni made public their petition to the EBU to expel Russia fromEurovision 2022 making clear the reason “The sound of beauty’ cannot become the ‘sound of war”. A position that for the moment has not been supported by its public broadcaster, which has not made an official statement.

DENMARK

On Friday morning, the other Nordic countries joined the Swedish petition, Denmark was the first country to make a statementgustav Lützhøft, editor-in-chief of Denmark’s Dansk Melodi Grand Prix, seconded Sweden and outlined the position to be taken:

Given the serious situation in Ukraine now, we are incompatible with the Eurovision values in which Russia participates.

Gustav Lützhøft

NORWAY

NRK, the Norwegian public broadcaster, seconded the position of its neighbours, Thor Gjermund Eriksen, the person responsible for communication, assures that they have formally requested the immediate expulsion of Russia from Eurovision 2022 and are confident that the right decision will be taken, understanding that time is needed to make this decision.

NETHERLANDS

Eric Van Stade, CEO of AVROTROS, the Dutch public broadcaster, does not stop at suspending Russia’s participation in Eurovision, but directly demands the expulsion of Russia as a member of the EBU.

FINLAND

But the country that has gone one step further in demanding Russia’s expulsion is Finland, the Finnish public broadcaster YLE, which has made its intentions clear :“Russia must be completely excluded from Eurovision or Finland will not send an artist”.

In this case, Ville Vilé, Director of YLE’s Media and Creative Content Unit, is the person who released the statement, where he assures that they will not hesitate to withdraw from this edition of the Festival:

Yle cannot participate in an event where Russia, which has blatantly attacked these values, can use one of Europe’s best-known brands to promote its own interests

Ville Vilé

LITHUANIA

In Lithuania, the Lithuanian public broadcaster LRT is calling for Russia’s exit fromEurovision and a content check of channels for further action.

Monika Garbačiauskaitė-Budrienė, general director of LRT, adds that they will insist that the other European countries join this cause and ask for the Russian expulsion, obtaining a joint declaration.

The rules of the organisation and the Eurovision Song Contest cannot prevent a proper response to offenders.

Monika Garbačiauskaitė

ESTONIA

Another Baltic country to join has been Estonia, which will consider participating in the European contest, if Russia is finally admitted to the competition. Erik Roose, CEO of the ERR channel, has been in contact with the EBU to check the current situation, but it seems that withdrawal in the case of Russia is a given.

Obviously, it is inconceivable that Estonia would participate in Eurovision in a situation where Russia participates there, but in this case Ukraine will not.

Erik Roose

ICELAND

The last country to join has been Iceland, Icelandic public broadcaster RUV has demanded the EBU to expel Russia for the invasion of Ukraine, not making it clear whether they would withdraw from the contest, because they are confident that a correct decision will be made.

We have been in contact with our Nordic colleagues who share our concerns about the situation in Ukraine. It is everyone’s opinion that it will not work for Russia to participate in Eurovision under these circumstances.

Stefán Eiríksson

Faced with this situation, the EBU has had no choice but to take a stand with the other public broadcasters and expel Russia from Eurovision.

eurovision, Eurovision 2022, Russia

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