Earlier this year, the EBU confirmed that Kazakhstan broadcaster Khabar Agency had again been given a guest invitation to participation in Junior Eurovision 2019. However, the EBU has now confirmed that this invitation will not extend to the Eurovision Song Contest 2020.

In a statement to ESCXTRA, an EBU spokesperson said, “We can confirm that we have no plans to invite Kazakhstan to participate in next year’s competition.”

Like Australia’s SBS, broadcaster Khabar Agency is an associate member of the EBU and so — in theory — the EBU’s reference group could give them a guest invitation to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest.

The news follows a similar statement made last year, where the EBU also said that it had “no plans to extend [a guest invitation] to other Associate Members.”

The EBU’s statement makes it clear that Kazakhstan’s participation at Junior Eurovision 2019 does not mean automatic participation at Eurovision 2020. While the ESC Reference Group could potentially invite Khabar Agency to compete in Eurovision 2020, their statement confirms this is not on the cards.

It has long been known that Kazakhstan has been keen to get involved with Eurovision. In 2017, broadcaster Channel 31 claimed that Kazakhstan would be sending a delegation to Lisbon and would be debuting at Eurovision 2019. However, this debut did not happen.

Last year Eurovision Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand was asked about the possibility of Kazakhstan being given a guest invitiation to the Eurovision Song Contest. He responded, “Well, we should discuss whether we should be able to bring Kazakhstan — and our associate member in Kazakhstan — to Eurovision Song Contest. But this is a part of a broader discussion that we have at the EBU.”

Khabar Agency chairperson Alan Azhibayev also told local media last year that the broadcaster was aiming to become a full member of the EBU in order to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Azhibayev revealed that the broadcaster had been in talks with the EBU and that negotiations were ongoing. He explained, “There were big talks between the Minister of Information and Communications Dauren Abayev and the EBU management team … After Junior Eurovision we had meetings with them. I think they will come here to Kazakhstan. Negotiations will continue.”

For Kazakhstan to become a full member of the EBU, the broadcasting union would need to broaden its membership area. Currently Kazakhstan is outside the catchment area covered by the EBU.

Kazakhstan made their debut at Junior Eurovision 2019, where Daneliya Tuleshova placed sixth with “Ózińe sen”. This year Kazakhstan has internally selected The Voice Kids Russia singer Yerzhan Maxim.

What do you think? Should Kazakhstan be given a guest invitation to compete at Eurovision 2020? Should they be invited as an interval act? Or is the contest big enough as it is? Tell us your thoughts below!

Read more Kazakhstan news here

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Redwep
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Redwep

Kazakhstan is a dictatorship with a dubious humans rights record. They have no place at Eurovision.

Apple
Guest
Apple

Because it’s a music contest and Kazakhstan has good music

Apple
Guest
Apple

If a country is able to participate in JESC, then they should be able to compete in ESC. It just doesn’t seem fair

Trash KAN
Guest
Trash KAN

EBU is threatened that Kazakhstan might send Dimash Kudaibergen and will win it for their first time.

Apple
Guest
Apple

I think the *real* tea is that they are worried Kazakhstan will be another country that gives all its points to Russia >.>

Una
Guest
Una

Colour me disappointed. Meh. I really wanted Kazakhstan in ESC. I do think they could bring on very good quality acts unlike current participating EBU members that make a joke out of their entries. That being said – some geopolitical issues are at stake here should the Kazakh broadcaster comply with the criteria for participation. Kazakhstan is a former Soviet state. So the exSoviet block with one more member could potentially present a huge risk for the already fragile balance in Eurovision. Participating former Soviet countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russian Federation and Ukraine. That’s 10… Read more »

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

There’s another consideration that needs to be taken:
1. Australia’s process ain’t easy: They started by applying a video skit in 2013, an interval act in 2014, and finally getting invited in commemoration of season 60 in 2015.
2. Kazakhstan’s JESC trial might be a process similar to (1), and I’m hoping they gained much success out of JESC in order to be invited.
3. Adding to my first comment below, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan were debuting in the years when Eastern countries (notably Russia and Ukraine) were on their peak.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Kazakh parent says to child: “Don’t worry if you don’t win JESC; you can always apply for the adult ESC when you grow up.”
(Checks list of countries in ESC.)
“Owh. Hang on. That’s not right.”

Mow
Guest
Mow

I mean they can still participate another way. There only 2 ways to become active EBU membership according to EBU website. – The countries is inside EBA ( European Broadcasting Area ) – Be active member state of Council of Europe ( i mean a lot ESC fans forget this route even exist ). And they can apply for it dou their country has some land inside in Europe just like Turkey, Georgia, Russia and Azerbaijan. Well it obvious that first way is impossible bc they are not inside the EBA since the updated it in 2007 but the still… Read more »

Preuss
Guest
Preuss

The conspiracy theories that the EBU won’t include them “because of Australia and Sweden” kills me, lol, the fandom is really unbelievable sometimes. I do agree though that I don’t see any reason why Australia can participate and Kazakhstan can’t, but these conspiracies that they won’t let Kazakhstan join because they will threaten Sweden and Australia’s position sounds really dumb. To be fair, I don’t know anything to nothing about Kazakhstan’s music industry to make me believe that they will be a threat to everyone if they compete – not saying that they won’t send good entries if they were… Read more »

Jack
Guest
Jack

Of course they need australia in the contest which gives every year 12 points to Sweden, they are the perfect Muppet. Kazakhstan won’t contribute on the 7th victory that Bjorkman desperately wants.

jack
Guest
jack

they were already hosting gurl, ALL the other years they gave them 12. check your facts

Esc1234
Guest
Esc1234

Sand is literally the worst ebu supervisor ever. So you don’t mind a country that it’s totally out of Europe competing, but Kazakhstan can’t compete cause God knows why, but let’s invite them to jesc cause no one cares about that competition and ratings are low. Yeah, that sounds so….. EBU

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

I think the Junior contest should be abandoned. It has failed, and is not worth the time, expense and effort. That’s just my opinion…

Ariso Light
Guest
Ariso Light

Can I just say, as an Australian I am tired of people using the “Kazakstan should be in Eurovision instead of Australia” line. Why can’t both compete? Eurovision is about diversity and inclusion and it seems some people are forgetting this entirely.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Do you think there should be two guest slots? How about five? The rules should never have been changed to facilitate Australia, as it leads to this exact situation.

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

Something people don’t seem to understand is that if the EBU was really biased in favour of “Western countries” or “rich countries” (whatever that’s supposed to mean) Kazakhstan wouldn’t participate in JESC. From what Jon Ola Sand said (quote “But this is a part of a broader discussion that we have at the EBU.”) I feel like they want to invite Kazakhstan, but there are technical issues to sort out which don’t affect the JESC, but do affect the ESC. The rules and voting system should be revised as well, because they have been made suitable for only a set… Read more »

Esc1234
Guest
Esc1234

What are you talking about? What kind of issues? They sorted out the televoting of Australia which is happening around 7 o clock in the morning local time, and they can’t have Kazakhstan? Phhhleaseeee gurl

Shanfa Chai
Guest
Shanfa Chai

LMAO, Kazakhstan is poor? They have sh*t tons of money from their natural resources (gas and oil), and Kazakhstan is the richest country in Central Asia.

Kazakhstan = Azerbaijan.

Get your facts straight you brainl*** idi**!!!

Shanfa Chai
Guest
Shanfa Chai

KAZAKHSTAN IS AN OIL-RICH COUNTRY.

They are poor by your Western European standards, but definitely NOT POOR BY WORLD STANDARDS.

Kazakhstan could afford to host Eurovision, and their broadcaster could afford to participate in Eurovision every f**cking year. THEY HAVE THE MONEY.

Read all those words, SLOWLY and PROPERLY you brainle** b*tch!!!

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Nah, the rules and voting system should not be revised just to accommodate non-EBU members.

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

It’s not to accommodate non-EBU members, it’s because the system is designed taking in account a maximum of 44 countries participating. If more than 44 participate, the whole semifinal and voting system needs to be reworked, because it only works when 26 countries are in the final. At least that’s what I know.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Well, how many nations are full members of the EBU? The numbers can only go so high. That is, unless you start opening the door to everybody like Australia, Kazakhstan and so on.

wqw
Guest
wqw

Australia should leave EUROvision forever. And Kazakhstan is geographically in central Asia.

Dog
Guest
Dog

I agree, Australia should not be there. But Kazahstan is okay.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Neither should be there, as neither are full members of the EBU. Geographical location is not relevant. The word “Eurovision” refers to the Eurovision satellite broadcast network, not the continent of Europe.

Sabi
Guest
Sabi

Cause their Wesrten border is next to Russia, which make them European!

PP77
Guest
PP77

Good news. We dont need 24,20,16…to ex Soviet Unions republics.

dusi23
Guest
dusi23

The reason is quite simple. Australia is generating attention and viewers. There is excitement for the Contest and active participation. While Kazakhstan on the one hand is much smaller, so will always generate less viewers and on the other Eurovision isn’t a thing there. It’s not celebrated as in Australia

Marv
Guest
Marv

Why all the downvotes you’re exactly right

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

How is s/he right? Kazakhstan has a population of 18 million, has a huge landmass – it’s hardly small. Australia has a slightly larger population of 25 million – smaller than France, UK, Germany, Italy, Poland, Ukraine, Spain and more…

Ioa Ioa
Guest
Ioa Ioa

Kazakhstan has more European lands than Australia and Israel (they have none). Still, EBU refuses to let them in. Unacceptable!

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

As long as Australia are in the contest, Kazakhstan should be too. There is no fair reason to keep them out if they wish to participate. How do they justify this? Sure, Australia has a history (of sorts) with the contest, but now Kazakhstan do too. This makes me a little uncomfortable. Perhaps a the guest spot could be shared on alternating years? Or even better, revert to the original rules and limit participation to full EBU members.

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

What I think would help Kazakhstan go debut is the win of Belarus or Russia. Given that Kazakhstan’s debut in JESC happened in the time when Russia won and Belarus was hosting, it’s a potential indication.

Ariso Light
Guest
Ariso Light

I don’t understand why the European Broadcasting Area doesn’t include all of Europe. Part of Kazakhstan is in Europe, so why shouldn’t they be allowed to join the EBU?! I’ve always found this to be utterly ridiculous.

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

Kazakhstan is solidly in Asia- it’s like Israel, it competes in European wide competitions due to its cultural proximity (via its Russian and Turkic roots) but is solidly in Asia

Ariso Light
Guest
Ariso Light

Part of Western Kazakhstan is geographicaly in Europe

mkkay
Guest
mkkay

EBU can invite Australia (far away from Europe) but not Kazakhstan (it borders to Europe, just like Azerbaijan and Georgia)? EBU is somehow afraid.

Davve
Guest
Davve

EBU are childish here… they invite Australia but not Kaz? Ridiculous

Shanfa Chai
Guest
Shanfa Chai

Seems like the EBU are so afraid that Kazakhstan will become a strong rival to their babies (Australia/Sweden) considering the fact that Kazakhstan has a strong music industry (and bloc voting).

Shanfa Chai
Guest
Shanfa Chai

What I mean by “strong” is the quality of their music industry, not the market.

Shanfa Chai
Guest
Shanfa Chai

Quality does not equal being a well-known hit.

“Watch Me” by Silento has 1.6 billion views. It’s a well-known hit. But is that a quality song? Musically, it’s a terrible song.

You are really stu*** if you think a song being a well- known hit equals quality. There are a lot of musically terrible songs out there that managed to chart well.

I can separate quality music from the bad ones.

Shanfa Chai
Guest
Shanfa Chai

Well, I will give you a list of 10 quality Kazakh songs

ALBA – “Tunim”
Ayree – “Oiladyn Ba”
Erke Esmahan – “Qayda”
JUZIM – “Bagynbaimyn”
Kesh You – “Rizamin”
Luina – “Hey Yo!”
Moldir Auelbekova – “Tugan El”
Moonlight – “Tokyo”
Zhanar Dugalova – “Izin Korem”
Ziruza – “24/7”

Sabi
Guest
Sabi

+ A’ Studio – Tick Tack

dtsgrs
Guest
dtsgrs

I’m sure Björkman is behind this… he doesn’t need a country that would be a strong rival of Sweden with having a big blocvoting base (ex-USSR countries) and a quality music industry (at least Kazakhstan has this while Sweden doesn’t in my opinion). And we know the relations of the EBU and Björkman / Sweden + Australia… Kazakhstan deserves to be here, Australia should be allowed to vote only without participation (like Serbia & Montenegro in 2006) and Sweden should finally be disqualified for buying the jury every year.

Davve
Guest
Davve

Lol, the childish anger is real… how about your country start sending good songs

Fer
Guest
Fer

I can’t wait for Kazakhstan to join. They fricking won Turkivizyon with Izin Korem a couple years back and that song would’ve added so much flavor to the esc. I hope the Netherlands still decides to invite them for 2020. We need s new country to debut. Debuting countries always still try their best.

mmmm
Guest
mmmm

So they can invite a country that is as far as possible geographically from Europe, not a part of the EBU broadcasting area, not a part of Council of Europe, but when it comes to a country that is even partly within the European continent the door is closed? This nothing else but cultural racism on EBU’s part where “Western”, “Anglo-Saxic” and English speaking countries are viewed as superior hence why Australia is having all this special treatment. So much for celebrating European diversity…

Fionn
Guest
Fionn

My favourite JESC entery was deffinately ozine sen and I think if Kazakhstan Stan were allowed to compete in ESC they’d bring a great act.But I don’t mean just as a guest,I believe they should become full EBU members because in my opinion they are slightly part of Europe and as regards the contest being large enough as it is……the bigger the better

Africavision
Guest
Africavision

I really don’t get the double standard. Both Australia and Kazakhstan’s broadcasters are associate EBU members, who clearly love Eurovision and take the contest seriously, yet the former can participate at Eurovision (no questions asked) for at least nine years (as well as participating at Junior Eurovision), and the latter has to be content with only participating in the children’s contest. I thought Eurovision was meant to be a contest about equality, fairness, and nations uniting together through a love of music. Honestly, what is the big deal about having one more country at the adult contest? And if there… Read more »

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

Do you even know what you’re talking about? Kazakhstan is like azerbaijan. They have lots of gas and oil money ready to spend at international events like this.

Shanfa Chai
Guest
Shanfa Chai

Kazakhstan doesn’t need money from Russia. Kazakhstan is rich. They have an abundant of oil and gas resources.

Maybe fill your brain with some proper knowledge about Kazakhstan next time before leaving stup** ignorant comment?

T.J,
Guest
T.J,

I don’t need another ex-soviet satellite state that votes with the same pattern every year regardless of the songs #12pointsgotorussiasurprise

Benjamin Ingrosso Fan
Guest
Benjamin Ingrosso Fan

Kazakhstan in Junior Eurovision 2018 was amazing! I loved “Ózi?e sen” and this was their debuting entry at JESC. Imagine what they could bring at the big Eurovision! We need Kazakhstan, EBU!

FYROM
Guest
FYROM

well, the EBU have a bias for western countries. Sad, cause kazakhstan would add so much more flavour to the contest than australia for example

Davve
Guest
Davve

Since when is Australia is western country..

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

Culturally they adopt the European-style way of life , so they are ‘Western’ in that context.