The contest you want
Photo: Thomas Hanses (EBU)

World leaders condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine swiftly and immediately. And now Europe’s state broadcasters are following suit.

On Friday afternoon Eric van Stade, the general director of The Netherlands’ AVROTROS, issued a statement making his position clear.

“Personally and also as the general director of AVROTROS, I no longer wish to remain silent. This is the time that Europe should unite and show what we stand for. Russia’s military actions no longer stand for politics — this about a gross violation of universal values like independence and human rights. I ask other countries to also speak up and call on the EBU to suspend Russia’s membership, whereby they can no longer take part in the Eurovision Song Contest in Turin.”

The statement marks a shift in tone from Thursday. 

At that time — shortly after Sweden’s SVT had publicly condemned Russia’s participation — a spokesperson from the broadcaster told AD that it did not want to get involved in the discussion about whether Russia should be allowed to participate. 

Earlier this week, the EBU issued a statement just before the invasion that said Russia was welcome in the event. It said:

“The Eurovision Song Contest is a non-political cultural event which unites nations and celebrates diversity through music.”

“EBU members in both Russia and Ukraine have committed to participating in this year’s event in Turin and we are currently planning to welcome artists from both countries to perform in May.”

“We of course will continue to monitor the situation closely.”

Monitoring the situation would show the EBU that broadcasters are now lining up to tell it Russia should be suspended from the European Broadcasting Union and excluded from Eurovision.

On Friday morning Denmark and Norway joined the call.

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Craigee_mac
Craigee_mac
6 months ago

Without getting involved in the politics, I am surprised Putin would even want anyone to represent him this year, given what he’s up to right now. (I have said Putin and not Russia, as what Putin wants ans what most Russians want are 2 very different things).

Last edited 6 months ago by Craigee_mac
DocDegger
DocDegger
6 months ago

I hope the Netherlands will also withdraw if Russia takes part in Eurovision. Though I’m really curious what S10 will bring…

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
6 months ago
Reply to  DocDegger

Well, they don’t have to because Russia has been expelled

John Welsh
John Welsh
6 months ago

Totally agree a one year ban is not enough.

Noel
Noel
6 months ago

Russia should be gone from the eurovision song contest

MPsci
MPsci
6 months ago

How many countries were banned when USA, Germany, Italy and others bombed Yugoslavia? Double standards, Europe. Eurovision should stay out of such conflicts. As if it was already not political enough.

James
James
6 months ago
Reply to  MPsci

This is the EBU, so it’s a completely different organization composed of public media entities who have little to no control of what their respective countries’ respective governments are doing, and whose editorial independence from state control are just as much being threatened in the past several years.

Last edited 6 months ago by James
Xxx
Xxx
6 months ago
Reply to  MPsci

Russian trolls working overtime i see.

Alex
Alex
6 months ago
Reply to  MPsci

Every evebt is political when countries take part (see football, olympic games etc).

Also just because the atrocities from 90s in Yugoslavia were not punished are we supposed to say now that Russia should not be punished and thus repeat the same mistake? No, Russia shouls be banned. Feel sorry for the people but the Russian broadcaster is state funded and representa the interests of Putin.

Vale
Vale
6 months ago
Reply to  MPsci

Russian trolls and propaganda have sneaked through western social networks, websites and channels. Beware. Russia wants to destroy Europe.

Last edited 6 months ago by Vale
JSU12
JSU12
6 months ago

If EBU does not take proper action by banning Russia, then the ESC should not be held. It is a disgrace, disrespectful, and a slap in the face to Ukraine, Europe, and an implicit approval of Russian actions.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
6 months ago
Reply to  JSU12

That’s the general consensus, yes.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
6 months ago

It might be all over. It’s possible there will be no Eurovision Song Contest for a while. Russia will not admit it’s wrong, and if the EBU’s position doesn’t budge, then it gets pointless. A peaceful song contest cannot happen when the participants don’t want it to happen, so it’s over. I don’t know what Wiwibloggs is going to do. Report on the European music industry?

Aeria
Aeria
6 months ago

I don’t get why the EBU is doubting this much about it. Currently, not only would Russia competing in Turin raise eyebrows and distort peace within the contest itself, it would also mean the Russian representative would get millions of boos.

Who would want to represent their country on a huge stage, being watched by millions of people, thinking “I’m going to sing my little song for people whilst my country is murdering countless innocent people in a country that doesn’t belong to us”?

I’d just say ‘do it’. Suspend Russia’s EBU membership.

Last edited 6 months ago by Aeria
Daya Sloten
Daya Sloten
6 months ago
Reply to  Aeria

I don’t know if it exists but a power move would be to have an independent anti-Putin broadcaster be part of the EBU. I doubt it exist though but the Russian people need to have some information from the outside world somehow but the RT should 100% definitely be banned.

dtuk
dtuk
6 months ago

Which Russian singer will stand in Turin holding the Russian flag? No one
Russia should be banned from ESC 2022.

Xxx
Xxx
6 months ago
Reply to  dtuk

Believe me, there are a few that would. Kirkorov for example.

willchrisiam
willchrisiam
6 months ago
Reply to  dtuk

Gagarina could come with the ultimate sequel to Million Voices – Countless Screams.

Last edited 6 months ago by willchrisiam
ThorBeta
ThorBeta
6 months ago

I’m sorry to say this, but Russia should and will be isolated by the rest of the world for a very long time, including all sport and cultural events. As long as they are led by an undemocratic violent regime that violates human rights unleashing unprovoked attacks to their neighbours and threatening the rest of Europe, Russia has no place in European or international events celebrating peace and unity. I do expect EBU to suspend Russian broadcasters indefinitely and that’s the only way forward.

Vale
Vale
6 months ago
Reply to  ThorBeta

That are many dictatorships that will mingle with Russia, starting from China. EBU and Western countries need to wake up.

MonsieurMüller
MonsieurMüller
6 months ago
Reply to  Vale

Oh, yes… China. And please add Venezuela… which is causing a debacle in Latin America and a deplorable migratory crisis with their people fleeing to neighbouring countries. Authoritarianism is so bad, and Eurovision’s values rotate around freedom, peace and respect to life!

ThorBeta
ThorBeta
6 months ago
Reply to  Vale

Indeed, China is the only country that hasn’t spoken against Russian invasion in Ukraine but no surprises there unfortunately. That’s a different story though. The story here is that Russia doesn’t belong to the international community anymore because not only they are ruled by an authoritarian regime but they started attacking other countries now. That crosses the lines of civilised world and should not be tolerated in every possible way.

willchrisiam
willchrisiam
6 months ago
Reply to  ThorBeta

Sadly, not the only one. I’m ashamed of my citizenship.

willchrisiam
willchrisiam
6 months ago
Reply to  willchrisiam

I meant nationality. I blame migraine.

Esc
Esc
6 months ago

Finnish broadcaster Yle have stated that they will not participate in Eurovision if Russia aren’t banned.

Last edited 6 months ago by Esc
Little Miss Sassy
Little Miss Sassy
6 months ago

Ban them

Last edited 6 months ago by Little Miss Sassy
Heyey
Heyey
6 months ago

The Finnish broadcaster Yle has just announced the they will not send an act (in other words NOT participate) should EBU not ban Russia from competing this year. The situation is just getting more and more complicated..

Last edited 6 months ago by Heyey
Fast Food Music Lover
Fast Food Music Lover
6 months ago
Reply to  Heyey

Huge respect to Yle!

Heyey
Heyey
6 months ago

Yeah! Yle is not afraid to take actions. I’m just worried we might have a contest with Russia and a few countries withdrawing as a protest. Hopefully EBU does something.

Last edited 6 months ago by Heyey
Esc
Esc
6 months ago
Reply to  Heyey

I hope and imagine that it will get to the stage where so many countries speak up about wanting the EBU to ban Russia from the competition that the EBU would have no choice other than ban them. I think it’s almost embarrassing that the EBU have let it get to the stage that its at where participating acts and broadcasters have to spell it out to them that allowing Russia to participate undermines everything that the contest stands for.

Last edited 6 months ago by Esc
Polegend Godgarina
6 months ago

i think this is the first of many broadcasters publicly supporting ukraine by explicitly asking for russia’s suspension

JSU12
JSU12
6 months ago

I truly hope so. If the ESC goes on, I have a feeling it may be the last ever.

The Voice of Reason
The Voice of Reason
6 months ago

I think the Russian broadcaster or the people of Russia should be represented a different way, much like how they handled the Russian doping scandal accusations during the Olympics and sport competitions. It’s 1000% CLEAR to me from my research that the Russian people and musicians DO NOT support what is happening and do not support the actions of their government, which have rigged elections in their favour. There are alternative ways to do this! Send Russian acts through other countries also! San Marino is a good example of how people from other countries can end up still going if… Read more »

Daya Sloten
Daya Sloten
6 months ago

You’re getting downvoted but I do agree. However it would have to be 100% clear that they are anti Putin. The EBU should realize that the message against war is not a political message but a message of peace which is one of the core values of Eurovision. War is not a political choice but it is a choice to deny normal politics and choose inhumanity, terror and greed. Wanting peace is never a political message that should be censored

Daya Sloten
Daya Sloten
6 months ago

finally, all broadcasters should follow. Probably very unlikely but it would be awesome if Italy invited Manizha for example as an interval act, to give a stage to courageous Russians but I doubt that EBU would allow it.

The Voice of Reason
The Voice of Reason
6 months ago
Reply to  Daya Sloten

It would be more effective if a country who hasn’t chosen their act yet chose a Russian act who spoke out against it.

Daya Sloten
Daya Sloten
6 months ago

yes San.Marino would have been perfect for that but unfortunately already have an artist. Hopefully Georgia for example can bring something powerful. The message of peace should never be a political message

Robert
Robert
6 months ago

Yes, I support that 100%