The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has announced that Russia will be allowed to continue participating at Eurovision 2022 following its invasion of Ukraine.
“Monitoring the situation”
In a statement provided by the EBU, it said that both Russia and Ukraine are continuing their preparations for Turin. The statement reads:
“The Eurovision Song Contest is a non-political cultural event which unites nations and celebrates diversity through music.
“The EBU’s public broadcaster members in both Russia and Ukraine have committed to participating in this year’s event in Turin and we are currently planning to welcome artists from both countries to perform in May.
“We of course will continue to monitor the situation closely.”Statement from the EBU
The statement comes as Russia launches a full-scale invasion into Ukrainian territory. Tensions between Moscow and Kyiv had been building in recent months. These diplomatic pressures escalated with the recognition of two pro-Russian breakaway republics.
Broadcasters react to Russia in Eurovision
Despite the decision to allow Russia to continue in its preparations, other broadcasters expressed concern. In a statement, the CEO of Sweden’s national broadcaster SVT showed support for the Ukrainian people.
Hanna Stjärne went on to say the EBU should reconsider its decision to allow Russia in Eurovision:
The EBU needs to rethink. I sympathize 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 boundaries. We have called on the EBU to change and will follow developments closely.Hanna Stjärne, CEO of Sveriges Television
Ukraine’s Eurovision 2022 journey
This is a new scandal in Ukraine’s preparations for Eurovision 2022. After holding its selection – Vidbir – in mid-February, winner Alina Pash withdrew her candidacy over intense scrutiny over travel documents.
As a result, this left second-placed Kalush Orchestra to be offered the opportunity to represent Ukraine. However, this was also in jeopardy due to multi-instrumentalist Tymofii Muzychuk’s own travel history. This was overruled and Kalush Orchestra will now represent Ukraine in Turin. The band will perform in the first semi-final with their song “Stefania”.
What do you make of the EBU’s decision? Should Russia be allowed to participate in Eurovision 2022? As always, let us know what you think by commenting below. Also, be sure to follow ‘THAT Eurovision Site’ over at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
News Source: The Independent / EBU
Photo Credit: The New Yorker