Eurovision rejects Zelenskyys request to speak in the final of

Eurovision rejects Zelenskyy’s request to speak in the final of the competition

(CNN) – A request by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to speak at the final of the Eurovision Song Contest in the English city of Liverpool on Saturday was rejected by broadcasters.

In a statement published on its website on Thursday, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), an alliance of public service media organizations that oversees the event, stressed the importance of the “apolitical” nature of Eurovision, which will be watched by millions of people around the world.

“This principle prohibits the possibility of making political or similar statements in the context of the competition,” added the EBU.

“The request by Mr Zelensky to address the audience at the Eurovision Song Contest, while of laudable intentions, regrettably cannot be granted by the management of the European Broadcasting Union as it would be against the rules of the event.” , the statement said.

If he had been allowed to speak at the competition, the Ukrainian leader would likely have continued his pattern of using speeches at high-profile international events to draw attention to Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine – and Eurovision would be one for that poignant stage given that this year’s competition is being held in the UK, with Ukraine, last year’s winner and legitimate host nation, unable to host it due to the Russian invasion.

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Musical duo Tvorchi performs on behalf of Ukraine and takes part in a rehearsal ahead of the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest.

However, the EBU said it made great efforts to ensure that Ukrainian music and culture featured prominently during the live finals and semi-finals, which will be hosted by British broadcaster BBC on behalf of Ukrainian public broadcaster UA:PBC plays.

As examples of the “best way” to “reflect and celebrate Ukraine’s victory at the Eurovision Song Contest and show that we are united,” the EBU listed the performance of eleven Ukrainian musicians, collaboration with a Ukrainian design agency in the Area branding and a series of 37 short films on music in these difficult times.”

Organizers confirmed last year that a Russian artist would not be allowed to enter the competition, noting in a statement: “The decision reflects concern that, given the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine, including a Russian entry in this year’s competition will prevent this from happening would.” bring the competition into disrepute.”