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Boris Johnson says Eurovision 2023 “can and should be in Ukraine”

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, has said that Ukraine should host the Eurovision Song Contest 2023. The Conservative leader says the contest is a year away and things in Ukraine are “going to be fine” by May.

Boris Johnson asks EBU to reconsider

In his comments, the current UK Prime Minister even goes as far as saying the EBU should reconsider their decision to open negotiations with the United Kingdom. Yesterday, the news broke that Ukraine will not host the contest next year. This is of course due to the Russian invasion of the country. Safety and infrastructure can sadly not be guaranteed a year in advance, so the EBU have turned to the runners-up of the contest: the BBC.

Johnson made his comments upon arriving home from a trip to Kyiv. He then spoke of his ideas regarding the Eurovision Song Contest next year:

Of course, I would love it to be in this country. But the fact is: They won and they deserve to have it. I believe that they can have it and I believe that they should have it. Kyiv or any other safe Ukrainian city would be a fantastic place to have it. And I very much hope the… Is it the European Broadcasting Union? Yes, I hope the European Broadcasting Union will recognise that. Because I don’t think it’s right. It’s a year away and it’s going to be fine, fine by the time the Eurovision Song Contest comes around. And I hope the Ukrainians get it, because they deserve it.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson to the BBC

A year of preparations seemingly impossible

Of course, everyone will be hoping for Ukraine to be a safe place as soon as it possibly can be. The problem regarding Eurovision 2023 allegedly is that preparations need to start well in advance. You cannot throw a contest, including all facilities and infrastructure, together in a couple of weeks. Currently, there is no guarantee of safety in Ukraine next May – no matter the hope the entire world has. With the current concerns in Ukraine, preparing for the Eurovision Song Contest is hardly possible. UA:PBC themselves however don’t agree yet, judging by their response yesterday. Culture Minister Tkachenko also came out with a big statement, demanding back the hosting rights.

With the necessary time to prepare everything, the EBU have now made the decision to switch to plan B: the United Kingdom. They of course finished in second place in Turin this year with Sam Ryder’s “Space Man”, ending years of finishing on the right hand side of the scoreboard.

In the United Kingdom, many cities are seemingly lining up to bring the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 to their cities. Below, you can find the full map of cities lining up. They include cities like Glasgow, London, Cardiff, Sheffield, Manchester and the most recent UK Eurovision host city, Birmingham. Meanwhile, The Guardian have suggested the EU could be preparing a rival bid for Brussels to host.

Do you think Boris Johnson is right? Let us know! Be sure to stay updated by followingย @ESCXTRA on Twitter,ย @escxtra on Instagram,ย @escxtra on TikTokย and liking ourย Facebook pageย for the latest updates! Also, be sure to follow usย on Spotifyย for the latest music from your favourite Eurovision acts. As well asย YouTubeย to see our reactions to the news in the run up to the 2023 Eurovision season.

Nick van Lith

I'm one of the founding members of ESCXTRA.com. Eleven years after the start, I'm proud to say that I am now the Editor-in-Chief of this wonderful website. When I'm not doing Eurovision stuff, you should be able to find me teaching German to kids... And cheering on everything and everyone Greek, pretty much. Pame Ellada!

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