According to the organizers, in order to preserve principles and not further politicize the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC), there will be no greeting from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The head of state allegedly wanted to address the viewers with a video message at the ESC final in Liverpool on Saturday. But the hosting European Broadcasting Union (EBU) spoke out against it. Selenskyj has “laudable intentions” but his wish “regrettably” violates the rules, the said EBU with. In Kiev, Zelenskyy’s spokesman on Facebook denied that the presidential office had approached the EBU with such a request.
The ESC is an international entertainment show, the EBU said, justifying that Selenskyj does not appear on the show. The “non-political nature” of the event is an important cornerstone. “This principle prohibits the possibility of making political or similar statements within the framework of the competition.” The BBC estimates that 160 million television viewers will watch worldwide.
ESC could have taken place in Ukraine
Ukraine should actually be hosting this year’s ESC after the Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra won the competition in 2022. However, the EBU moved the show to the UK, which finished second in 2022 with Sam Ryder, because of Russia’s ongoing war of aggression against the country.
In an interview published on Thursday, Zelenskyy told the BBC he would have preferred it if the competition had been moved to a neighboring country like Poland or Slovakia. Then it would have been easier for Ukrainians to travel there or feel close, said Zelenskyy.
The EBU now stressed that Ukrainian music, culture and creativity played an important role in the show. “No fewer than eleven Ukrainian artists, including last year’s winner Kalush Orchestra, will perform.” In addition, 37 locations in Ukraine would be presented with short films.
“We believe this is the best way to reflect and celebrate Ukraine’s victory at the Eurovision Song Contest and to show that we are united through music in these difficult times,” the EBU statement said on Thursday evening.
Text: dpa/ Editor: JN
Source: DIGITAL FERNSEHEN by www.digitalfernsehen.de.
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