Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine: Eurovision Song Contest Organisers Won’t Allow Russia To Participate

Russia will no longer be allowed to participate in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, the European Broadcasting Union has said.

The EBU, which produces the event, said Russia’s inclusion could bring the competition into disrepute “in light of the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine”.

Russia launched an attack on its neighbour Ukraine in the early hours of Thursday.

Western governments have ramped up international sanctions in response.

Just 24 hours ago, the contest had said Russia would be allowed to compete, so this is a rapid change in stance for the EBU.

It follows the announcement that football’s 2022 Champions League final would be played in Paris, after Russia was stripped of the match following the invasion of Ukraine.

F1’s Russian Grand Prix, due to take place in Sochi in September, was also cancelled.

Earlier this week, Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC urged the EBU to suspend Russia’s Eurovision membership and ban it from the contest.

State broadcasters from countries including Iceland, Finland, Norway and the Netherlands had called for Russia to be banned from the contest.

Finland said if Russia took part, it would not send a representative to the contest in Turin in May.

The EBU said it remained 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”.

The 66th edition of Eurovision is due to take place in Turin, after Italian rock band Maneskin won the 2021 contest.

In the recent years, Russia has been one of the strongest Eurovision performers, with five top five finishes in the past decade.