Organizers of the Eurovision Music Contest reversed course on Friday, asserting that Russia would now not be permitted to perform in this year’s event.
“The choice displays concern that, in gentle of the unprecedented disaster in Ukraine, the inclusion of a Russian entry on this 12 months’s Contest would carry the competitors into disrepute,” the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) mentioned in a statement.
The choice to punish Russia culturally for invading Ukraine comes a day after the identical group had mentioned Moscow can be allowed to ship an act to look on the subsequent Eurovision, scheduled to be held in Turin, Italy, in Might.
Ukraine’s public broadcasting firm had requested for Russia to be suspended from the favored contest, which is watched by almost 200 million people every year.
However the EBU, which has organized the competition since 1956, had insisted Eurovision was “a non-political cultural occasion.”
In response, quite a few different European nations had indicated they might not take part on this 12 months’s occasion except Russia was banned.
Russia was but to formally announce an act for this 12 months’s competitors. For the reason that assault on Ukraine, hundreds of Russians have braved the risk of being arrested to protest in opposition to their authorities’s lethal invasion.