War in Ukraine live Belarus accuses a Polish military helicopter

War in Ukraine, live: Belarus accuses a Polish military helicopter of violating its border

The invitation of the Russian and Belarusian ambassadors to the Nobel gala in Stockholm met with widespread rejection

The Nobel Foundation, which is organizing the awards ceremony and a gala dinner in the Swedish capital, said on Thursday that it would invite all ambassadors of the countries represented in Sweden and Norway this year to promote dialogue for peace. Last year she did not invite the Russian and Belarusian ambassadors because of the war in Ukraine and the Iranian ambassador because of the suppression of the protest movement.

“As long as millions of Ukrainians continue to suffer from a war they did not cause and the Russian power is not punished for its crimes, we call on the Nobel Committee to support efforts to isolate Russia and Belarus,” the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman reacted Ministry, Oleg Nikolenko, on Facebook. For him, this invitation will provoke “an increased sense of impunity” on the part of the Russian authorities.

The leader of the Belarusian exile opposition, Svetlana Zichanovskaya, called on the Nobel Foundation to change course. “No compromises should be made with the values ​​of Alfred Nobel. “I call on the Foundation and the Nobel Committee not to invite representatives of the illegitimate Lukashenko regime to events and to demand the immediate release of Ales Bialiatski, 2022 Nobel Peace Prize winner,” she continued X (Ex-Twitter).

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said he was “very surprised” by the invitations. “I would not have done it if I had to deal with invitations to an awards ceremony and I understand that this is worrying in Sweden and Ukraine,” he added in a statement to Agence France-Press.

For the Nobel Foundation, it is “clear that the world is increasingly divided into spheres and dialogue between different viewpoints is increasingly restricted,” said Vidar Helgesen, its director, in a press release. “To reverse this trend, we extend our invitation to celebrate and understand the Nobel Prize and the importance of free science, free culture and free and peaceful societies,” he added.

Several Swedish politicians, including leaders of the Greens, the center and the left, said they would boycott the gala dinner because of the Russian ambassador’s invitation.