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Eurovision: Russia banned from this year’s competition following Ukraine invasion

European Broadcasting Union says Russian participation would bring competition into ‘disrepute’


Maneskin won last year’s show (Ian West/PA)

Maneskin won last year’s show (Ian West/PA)

Maneskin won last year’s show (Ian West/PA)

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has announced that no Russian act will participate in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

It comes after initial comments that Russia would be able to take part despite its invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.

The Executive Board of the EBU made the decision following a recommendation on Friday 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.

A statement from the EBU said: “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.

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

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

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“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.”

On Thursday it had been reported that Russia would be allowed to participate in this year's Eurovision Song Contest.

Organisers called the competition a "non-political cultural event" and said they were "currently planning" to host entrants from both Russia and Ukraine at the event this May.

"We of course will continue to monitor the situation closely," they added.

Ukraine's state broadcaster UA:PBC had called for Russia to be suspended.

It said the Russian broadcasters, who oversee the county's participation in the contest, had been "a mouthpiece for the Kremlin and a key tool of political propaganda".

They added that it had taken part in "systematic dissemination of disinformation" against Ukraine which is "contrary" to the values of the EBU.

The Eurovision Song Contest is organized by the European Broadcasting Union, the world's foremost alliance of public service media, representing 116 member organizations in 56 countries and an additional 34 Associates in Asia, Africa, Australasia and the Americas.

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