From our Special Envoy in Liverpool (United Kingdom)
In recent months, Volodymyr Zelensky has appeared, by videoconference, in several cultural events such as the Cannes and Berlin festivals. But the Ukrainian president will be deprived of Eurovision. The final of the competition will be held on Saturday in Liverpool, with the United Kingdom hosting the competition on behalf of Ukraine, who won the trophy last year.
"The Eurovision Song Contest is an international entertainment, governed by strict rules and principles established since its inception. Among them: the apolitical nature of the event. This principle prohibits the possibility of taking political positions in the context of the competition, "said the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which oversees the organization, this Thursday evening in a statement.
"Mr. Zelensky's request to speak to the Eurovision audience, although made with laudable intentions, unfortunately cannot be accepted by the EBU as it would be contrary to its rules," the body continued.
The EBU recalls that this edition, organised by the BBC, the British public service, in collaboration with its Ukrainian counterpart, gives pride of place to the culture, music and creativity of Ukraine. On Saturday, at the opening of the final, former Ukrainian candidates emblematic of Eurovision, such as Jamala or Verka Serduchka, will perform on stage.
- Eurovision 2023
- Eurovision behind the scenes
- Volodymyr Zelensky
- War in Ukraine