The organizers of the competition have rejected a request for video intervention by the Ukrainian president during the final which takes place in Liverpool.
The British government said on Friday “disappointed» that the organizers of the Eurovision Song Contest have decided to prevent Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky from speaking on Saturday, during the final of the event in Liverpool.
“Prime Minister thinks it would have been okay for President Zelensky to speak during the eventsaid a spokesperson for Rishi Sunak. “The values and freedoms for which President Zelensky and the Ukrainian people are fighting in Ukraine are not political, but fundamentaladded the spokesperson.
The organizers of Eurovision themselves the “recognized last year by suspending Russia’s participation in the competition“, insisted Downing Street again. Russia was excluded from the competition this year, as in the 2022 edition.
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Thursday evening, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organizes the competition, said it had rejected a request from the Ukrainian president who wanted to speak in a video message during the final of the competition. “One of the pillars of the competition is the non-political nature of the event. This principle prohibits political or similar statements during the competition.“, explained the EBU in a press release.
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Eurovision is being held this year in Liverpool (north of England), the United Kingdom hosting the competition in place of Ukraine, winner last year, and which as such should have organized the event but who had to give it up because of the Russian invasion. The final, which will be held on Saturday and will see 26 countries compete, provides a strong tribute to Ukraine, said the EBU.