Russia banned from Eurovision after Ukraine invasion

25 February 2022, 16:24 | Updated: 26 February 2022, 00:17

Russia will not participate in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
Russia will not participate in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

The European Broadcasting Union has announced that no Russian act will participate in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

A statement posted on the competition website said the decision had been made after concerns that Russian participation would "bring the competition into disrepute".

The move comes after European countries threatened to boycott the competition if Russia were allowed to compete.

Estonia and Finland's broadcasters have both said they would withdraw from the contest, should Russia be allowed to compete.

Other countries, including the Netherlands and Latvia, have also expressed concerns over Russia's inclusion, alongside Ukraine

A spokesperson today confirmed: "The Executive Board of the EBU made the decision following a recommendation earlier today by the Eurovision Song Contest's governing body, the Reference Group, based on the rules of the event and the values of the EBU.

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"The Reference Group recommendation was also supported by the EBU’s Television Committee.

"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.

"Before making this decision the EBU took time to consult widely among its membership.

"The EBU is an apolitical member organization of broadcasters committed to upholding the values of public service.

"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."