Russia has been banned from this year’s Eurovision Song Contest following pressure from state broadcasters from a range of surrounding countries.
After initially stating that it wouldn’t ban the nation, which has launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Eurovision’s Reference Group recommended Russia be banned due to the rules of the event and the values of organizer the European Broadcasting Union.
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State broadcasters from the likes of Finland, Iceland and Norway had all called for a ban and Russia has today also seen the Champions League final moved from St. Petersburg and Russian Grand Prix canceled. It launched a full-scale invasion Thursday morning and has been condemned and sanctioned internationally.
“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,” said an EBU statement.
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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.”
The 66th Eurovision song contest is taking place in Turin on May 14, the host country of last year’s winner, Maneskin.
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