Eurovision bans Russia from song contest
The European Broadcasting Union announced Friday that Russia will not be able to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest in May due to the "unprecedented crisis" in Ukraine.
Why it matters: The ban marks a swift reversal from Eurovision's organizers, who said Thursday that they would allow a Russian act to participate in the contest despite the country's invasion of Ukraine because it is a "non-political cultural event."
- Ukraine had asked the EBU to bar Russia from participating due to the invasion, but the request was initially denied, per CNN.
- The country also asked the organization to remove Russian media from all European broadcasting, saying that it has always worked to promote "political propaganda" in favor of the Kremlin.
What they're saying: The EBU said "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."
- "The EBU is an apolitical member organization of broadcasters committed to upholding the values of public service," it added.
- "We remain dedicated to protecting the values of a cultural competition which promotes international exchange and understanding."