Eurovision Bans Russia From Participating in 2022 Song Contest

    Russia has been banned from participating in the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest following President Vladimir Putin’s military invasion of Ukraine. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) announced its decision on Friday, February 25.

    “The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has announced that no Russian act will participate in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest,” the statement said. “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 Reference Group recommendation was also supported by the EBU’s Television Committee.”

    The ruling comes after international broadcasters — including Ukraine’s national broadcaster, UA:PBC — pressured the EBU to reverse its Thursday, February 24 decision to allow Russia to remain in the competition. Ukraine will still compete.

    Mykola Chernotytsky, chair of UA:PBC’s board, published an open letter to the EBU on its website on Thursday.

    “We would like to emphasize that the Eurovision Song Contest was created after the Second World War to unite Europe,” the statement said, per Variety. “In view of this, Russia’s participation as an aggressor and violator of international law in this year’s Eurovision undermines the very idea of the competition.”

    The EBU’s announcement didn’t directly address requests from international broadcasters.

    “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,” the statement said. “Before making this decision, the EBU took time to consult widely among its membership.”

    The statement concluded, “The EBU is an apolitical member organization of broadcasters committed to upholding the values of public service. 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.”

    Maneskin at Eurovision Song Contest 2021

    The Eurovision Song Contest is a yearly televised competition where artists from across Europe (as well as Israel and Australia) are selected to represent their respective nations with one song.

    Some Eurovision winners have gone on to become huge stars, including Céline Dion and ABBA. Italian rock band Måneskin won Eurovision 2021.

    This year’s competition will take place in May in Turin, Italy.

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