Organizers of the Eurovision Music Contest reversed course on Friday, saying that Russia would now not be permitted to carry out on this 12 months’s occasion.
“The choice displays concern that, in mild of the unprecedented disaster in Ukraine, the inclusion of a Russian entry on this 12 months’s Contest would convey the competitors into disrepute,” the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) mentioned in a press release.
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 seem on the subsequent Eurovision, scheduled to be held in Turin, Italy, in Could.
Ukraine’s public broadcasting firm had requested for Russia to be suspended from the favored contest, which is watched by virtually 200 million folks annually.
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 international locations had indicated they’d not take part on this 12 months’s occasion until Russia was banned.
Russia was but to formally announce an act for this 12 months’s competitors.