Turin 2022

Europe responds to EBU statement regarding Russia competing in Eurovision

Latvia's Eurovision representative also reaches out to EBU

Yesterday, the European Broadcasting Union stated in an email to Swedish broadcaster SVT that Russia is still welcome to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest 2022. Now, many broadcasters have commented on the issue.

Ukraine’s broadcaster UA:PBC has sent a letter to the president of the EBU, Delphine Ernotte Cunci, to suspend the memberships of Channel One and the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company. Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine also asks the EBU to exclude Russian broadcasters from participating in the Eurovision Song Contest 2022.

The CEO of Sveriges Television AB, Hanna Stjärne, was the first to comment on the statement the EBU gave yesterday. She says the Union should rethink their decision.

I sympathise with the basic idea of Eurovision as an apolitical event. But the situation in Europe is extremely serious, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It crosses all boundaries. We have called on the EBU to change and will follow the development closely.

Hanna Stjärne on Russia competing at Eurovision

Swedish MEP Karin Karlsbro has started a petition in the European Parliament to exclude Russian broadcasters from the EBU and the Eurovision Song Contest. Karin Karlsbro also demanded the EBU to exclude Belarus’ broadcaster BRTC from Eurovision last year.

Norway’s broadcaster NRK joins their neighbours in demanding the EBU to suspend Russia from the Eurovision Song Contest 2022. Director-General of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, Thor Gjermund Eriksen, says their position on the issue is clear.

NRK has given clear advice to the EBU that Russia can not participate in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest as a result of the invasion of Ukraine. At the same time, this is a member organization that needs some time to anchor a decision. We have full confidence that the EBU will reach the right decision.

Thor Gjermund Eriksen on Russia competing at Eurovision

Gustav Lützhøft, the leading editor-in-chief for culture, music and debate at DR, the Danish broadcaster, says DR demands that the EBU excludes Russia from Eurovision.

At DR, we find it wrong if Russia is to participate in Eurovision, with the current situation. That is DR’s position and we communicate it to the EBU. We are in ongoing dialogue with them.

Gustav Lützhøft on Russia competing at Eurovision

Finland’s broadcaster Yle has stated that they will not send a representative to Turin, if Russia takes part. Yle is one of the broadcasters who has been in contact with EBU to exclude Russia from the competition.

Russia’s attack on Ukraine is against all the values that Yle and other European broadcasters represent. Yle always defends Western democracy, the rule of law, freedom of expression and human dignity. Yle cannot take part in an event where Russia, which has blatantly attacked these values, can use one of Europe’s best-known brands to advance its own interests. I hope that the EBU will act in accordance with its values here.

Ville Vilén, Director of Yle’s Creative Content and Media Unit, on Russia competing at Eurovision

The Dutch broadcaster AVROTROS also calls on the European Broadcasting Union to suspend Russia as a member of the Union.

Personally and also as CEO of AVROTROS I don’t want to stay silent anymore. This is the time for Europe to unite and show what we stand for. Russia’s military actions are not about politics anymore; this is about a gross violation of universal values like sovereignty and human rights. I ask other countries to speak up too and call the EBU to action to suspend Russia from the EBU-membership, through which they also won’t be able to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest in Turin.

Translation of the statement by Eric van Stade, CEO of Dutch broadcaster, AVROTROS

Latvia’s Eurovision 2022 representative Citi Zēni has contacted the EBU to reconsider Russia’s participation at the Eurovision Song Contest 2022. On Twitter, they shared the email they have sent to the European Broadcasting Union.

The General Director of Lithuania’s broadcaster LRT, Monika Garbačiauskaitė-Budrienė, states that she intends to raise the issue of Russia’s participation in Eurovision in the near future. She says that they will invite other countries to align on a joint statement calling for Russia’s exclusion from Eurovision.

We are aware of this topic, because the LRT, together with other Central European broadcasters, has previously raised the issue of the Belarusian state broadcaster’s membership in the EBU, and eventually the EBU’s board had suspended BTRC’s membership. As a member of the EBU Board, I intend to raise the issue of Russia’s participation in Eurovision in the near future. However, I also think that it would not be wise to refuse Lithuania to participate in Eurovision, because we would not achieve anything with such a step.

Monika Garbačiauskaitė-Budrienė on Russia competing at Eurovision

14:38 CET – UPDATE:

Estonian Public Broadcasting has announced that it will decide on its participation in the Eurovision Song Contest depending on whether Russia participates in the competition or not. According to Erik Roose, Chairman of the Board of ERR, ERR has been in contact with colleagues from the EBU on this issue.

Obviously, it is unthinkable that Estonia will participate in Eurovision in a situation where Russia participates, but Ukraine will not. Our colleagues from the other Baltic countries apparently share this view. We will continue to communicate with the EBU, the organizer of the song contest.

Erik Roose on Russia competing at Eurovision.

14:50 CET – UPDATE:

Iceland’s national broadcaster RÚV says they are among the broadcasters, who have told the EBU that Russia should not be allowed to participate in Eurovision this year due to their invasion of Ukraine.

We have been in contact with our Nordic colleagues who share our concerns about the situation in Ukraine. It is the opinion of all of us that it will not work for Russia to participate in Eurovision in these circumstances.

Stefán Eiríksson, RÚV’s radio director on Russia competing at Eurovision

16:53 CET – UPDATE:

Ukraine’s broadcaster UA:PBC has thanked the broadcasters who have joined their request to suspend the memberships of Channel One and the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company in the European Broadcasting Union.

17:50 CET – UPDATE:

In their statement, the Polish broadcaster TVP calls on the Board of EBU to respond immediately to the official request made by the Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC.

The European Broadcasting Union has stated that Russia will not take part in the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 in Turin, Italy.

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Sami Luukela

I started watching Eurovision back in 2006, when I was only 10 and couldn't stay up to see Lordi winning. I attended my first contest in 2013 in Malmö. I'm studying journalism and I love music — you will probably never see me without my headphones on.

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