Eurovision Song Contest
The organizers of the hugely popular international Eurovision song contest say that at least for now they will allow Russia to participate in this year’s event, despite the invasion of Ukraine.
In a brief statement sent to NPR, Eurovision organizers, the international public media association called the European Broadcast Union, said: “The Eurovision Song Contest is an apolitical cultural event. The EBU is however concerned about current events in Ukraine and will continue to monitor the situation closely.”
On Thursday, Ukrainian state broadcaster UA:PBC sent an open letter to the EBU, demanding that Russian media be removed from the EBU following the invasion of Ukraine, calling them ” speech of the Kremlin and a key tool of political propaganda financed by the Russian state budget. The same letter also demanded that the Russian contestant of Eurovision 2022 be removed from the song contest. (Russia has not yet announced its Eurovision entrant for this year.)
Last week, UA:PBC “suspended” its deal with Ukrainian singer Alina Pash, who was her country’s future Eurovision contestant. Protesters had complained that she visited Crimea in 2015, a year after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces occupied the region.
On Tuesday, Eurovision announced that Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra would step in as a contestant in Pash’s place.
The Eurovision Song Contest is scheduled for May 10-14 in Turin, Italy.