The European Broadcast Union, which organizes the Eurovision Song Contest, announced today that Russia would be banned from the competition in 2022 following its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
According to Variety, the EBU Executive Board made the decision based on the Eurovision Song Contest rules and the values of the EBU. The EBU’s Television Committee supported the Reference Group’s recommendation.
The EBU has voted against allowing Russia to participate in the contest on the grounds that the crisis in Ukraine is unprecedented, and that Russia’s participation would thereby bring the contest into disrepute.
“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.”
However, it remains to be seen whether the EBU will ban Russia from membership in the organization altogether.
Ukraine will be represented by Kalush Orchestra, a hip-hop band with a fondness for folk music according to festival organizers. The Russian entry, Manizha, finished ninth in last year’s contest.
The decision followed lobbying from Ukrainian state broadcaster UA:PBC, which said Russian broadcasters were a mouthpiece for the Kremlin and engaged in a propaganda war against Ukraine, according to Consequence.
Eurovision’s song contest begins on May 10t, and the contest’s finale will be held in Turin, Italy, on May 14.