On the heels of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the European Broadcasting Union announced the country was banned from the 2022 competition, saying that "no Russian act will participate in this year's Eurovision Song Contest."
"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," the statement explained, adding that the verdict was the result of a consultation amongst its membership.
"The EBU is an apolitical member organization of broadcasters committed to upholding the values of public service," the statement continued. "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."
According to CNN, the decision comes less than 24 hours after the organization said it would still allow the country to send a performer to the "non-political cultural event." However, Ukraine — which is set to send rappers Kalush Orchestra — subsequently issued its own statement asking the EBU to bar Russia from the contest as part of a request for the association to bar all Russian media.
Russia has continued to face a growing number of international sanctions and financial regulations meant to hit the country's oligarchs and politicians following its sudden and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine on the evening of February 23 after a series of missile attacks rocked the capital city of Kiev. The attack follows the escalation of political tensions between Russia and Ukraine, which came on the heels of diplomatic talks in Geneva and Russian President Vladimir Putin denying a planned invasion of the neighboring country earlier this month.
Read the EBU's entire statement below.
Photo via Getty / Patrick van Katwijk
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