After calls from several artists and pleas from a number of this year’s competing broadcasters (read more here), the EBU have announced today that Russia will not be allowed to compete at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Turin.

The EBU’s statement reads as follows:

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

The Executive Board of the EBU made the decision following a recommendation earlier today 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.

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.

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.”

A number of broadcasters had threatened to boycott this year’s ESC if Russia were allowed to compete, following the Russian government’s on-going invasion of Ukraine that began Thursday morning. This decision will bring some solace to contest fans worldwide, but the suffering caused by the violence in Ukraine remains on-going.

 

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