It’s the only country that has participated at Junior Eurovision that has never participated at Eurovision. However, that could change very soon for Kazakhstan. Broadcaster Khabar Agency reveals there is “every chance” for them to take part at Eurovision 2023.

As TV producer Zhan Mukanov suggested recently at a press conference in Astana, they are in talks with the EBU about their participation in next year’s contest. Khabar Agency actually believes they can finally debut in 2023. Mukanov says:

“I personally really love Eurovision. […] Since Khabar Agency is an officially associated member of the European Broadcasting Union, there is every chance to enter the adult Eurovision next year. I really hope, we hope that everything works out.”

He later added an interesting fact: “This year’s participation in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest will have a significant impact on our debut possibilities in Eurovision. We will try our best.”

But don’t count your chickens before they hatch! It’s not the first time there have been rumors about a Kazakh debut at Eurovision. Because the country’s territory partly lies in Europe, fans have been hoping to see them at the contest for years. After they first participated at Junior Eurovision in 2018, their debut at the adult version seemed even more realistic.

There’s one big problem: Kazakhstan is only an “associate member” of the EBU. That means they can only join Eurovision if they get invited to the competition. So far there’s only one country that has received this kind of invitation: Australia. The land that gave us the voice of Dami Im, took us to new heights with Kate Miller Heidke and put a smile on our faces with Guy Sebastian is also only an associate member. That’s due to the fact that neither Kazakhstan nor Australia meet the requirements of becoming a full member of the EBU.

You need to be part of the Council of Europe for that OR your territory must belong – at least partly – to the European Broadcasting Area, defined by the International Telecommunication Union. Those requirements do not apply to Kazakhstan, which is why they are — alongside Canada, Brazil, the US, Australia and many others — only an associate member. 

Rumours suggest that while Khabar Agency has tried to become a full EBU member for many years now, it’s now more likely for them to take part at Eurovision as an associate member and get invited to the competition next May. That’s the same way they’ve managed to participate in Junior Eurovision since 2018. But there’s one big difference between those two events: at Junior Eurovision, viewers can only vote online.

As we all know, at Eurovision votes are counted by televote. But Kazakhstan shares its phone dialing code with Russia. This is probably the reason it would have been hard to determine its televote result in the past. But according to several reports, the country will get its own international dialing code by January 2023 at the latest. Twitter Account Kazakhstan to ESC already pointed this out a few days ago.

Combined with the fact that former EBU members Belarus and Russia got suspended by the EBU, meaning fewer countries are in the mix now, the new dialing code could be beneficial for a Kazakh debut. In the past, the EBU denied plans to invite Kazakhstan to Eurovision. Only time will tell if this really changes in 2023. 

At the press conference in Astana, Khabar Agency also revealed that David Charlin will represent the nation at this year’s Junior Eurovision. The song will be revealed at a later date. It has, however, been confirmed that Khamit Shangaliyev will be one of the composers. Shangaliyev already composed Kazakhstan’s Junior Eurovision entries in 2019 and 2020.

What do you think about a possible debut at next year’s Eurovision? Which act would you like to see representing Kazakhstan? Let us know in the comments below.

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noqueen
noqueen
1 month ago

No thanks, we don’t need another ex USSR country, we already know their points even without the songs..

ben r
ben r
1 month ago

I hope so! As they say in Kazakhstan, inshalla

OrangeVorty
OrangeVorty
1 month ago

Can we get Morocco back, please?

Esc43
Esc43
1 month ago

With Russia, Belarus, Turkey and other eastern countries out, I think that EBU has absolutely no reason to not invite Kazakhstan… It is the PERFECT time.. Absolutely.. And EBU now with lack of east countries has no reason to worry for neighboring voting!! Welcome to the Eurovision family Kazakhstan!!

Benito Camelo
Benito Camelo
1 month ago

I’m torn, Kazakhstan is an authoritarian regime and having them taking part of ESC has the risk of whitewashing their regime. Also, I feel like they’re capable of going the Azerbuyjan route.
On the other hand, having a new or a returning country is always exciting and Kazakhstan has a pack of great artists – such as Dimash Kudaibergen, which could add memorable and unique moments to the contest overall.

Esc43
Esc43
1 month ago
Reply to  Benito Camelo

Eurovision is a song contest and we should not mind that much which is the political situation of each country.. accepting in the contest only countries that are in favor of western values and lgbt is racist… and Kazakhstan is an ok country I mean at least is better than Russia or Belarus which are already out..

Benito Camelo
Benito Camelo
1 month ago
Reply to  Esc43

Your insight relieves me 🙂

Mike
Mike
1 month ago

A debut is possible, ebu is running out of eastern countries

Im so fab
Im so fab
1 month ago

Kazakhstan has a tiny part of their land in Europe, so they deserve to participate more than Israel or Australia. (whom are also welcome, don’t get me wrong).

It’s unacceptable not to let a country with European land take part.

Karl
Karl
1 month ago

Hopefully Kazakhstan will compete in 2023 so that they get a lot of novelty/welcoming points that will hopefully offset, at least partially, the rain of pity votes that Ukraine will get.

Teddy
1 month ago

Kazakhstan has politically softened and moved away from Russia recently and every single one of their JESC entries have been top notch. They’ve definitely earned a trial at ESC. They may vote for Azerbaijan, Turkey and Ukraine (maybe also Russia if they decide to give up the genocidal side-gig) religiously but I feel like their entries would be worth it.

esc_fl
esc_fl
1 month ago

Hope to see Kazakhstan participating soon if not this edition of ESC. I need to see Dimash Kudaibergen or Daneliya Tuleshova on the ESC stage soon!

Jamie
Jamie
1 month ago

This is such a clear indication of Kazakhstan experiencing a major political shift towards the West. Good for them. Always nice to see new countries in ESC.

MonsieurMüller
MonsieurMüller
1 month ago
Reply to  Jamie

Totally!!!

raylee
raylee
1 month ago

I am sorry but i don’t want this please EBU

Thallo
Thallo
1 month ago

It’s interesting that Kazakhstan wants to participate after their closest European allies were banned (Russia) or left a decade ago (Turkey).

They clearly see a benefit in participating at Eurovision. Maybe it’s to show the west they’re moving away from the Russian sphere of influence or to show Europe that they want closer ties. From a geopolitical standpoint, it’s super interesting.

Thallo
Thallo
1 month ago
Reply to  Thallo

Also, could Kazakh participation eventually lead to other Central Asian countries showing an interest in competing? It wouldn’t surprise me, especially since they’re also trying to distance themselves from Russia after the invasion.

In the meantime, the EBU should focus on convincing past competing countries to participate like Slovakia, Hungary, Bosnia, Luxembourg, Turkey, Lebanon and Morocco.

sleuth
sleuth
1 month ago
Reply to  Thallo

As long as Israel is participating, Lebanon will not join

Issue with Slovakia and Bosnia is funding

Hungary and Turkey will not join because of homophobia

MonsieurMüller
MonsieurMüller
1 month ago
Reply to  Thallo

Absolutely!!!

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago
Reply to  Thallo

Kazakhstan wants to be in the festival for a few years now, probably because they want to do something to “belong” to Europe or to attract tourists from Europe or both. Also, the country formerly known as Turkey is now Türkiye, they wanted to change their name.

Thallo
Thallo
1 month ago
Reply to  Whisker

Erdogan and his government changed Turkey’s name, Turkish people literally don’t care.

If Erdogan wasn’t in power, Turkey would still be called Turkey and they’d also still participate in Eurovision.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Thallo

I thought that has been their name since 1923? It’s just the use of the name in English that’s he’s trying to change. Like Giorgia Meloni deciding it’s “Italia” now, not Italy.

Thallo
Thallo
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

The name Turkey has been known by the international community since 1923, but since 2022 it’s now known as Türkiye.

There seems to be a correlation between dictators and far-right governments asking the international community to recognise their countries name by the language of the country.

NickC
NickC
1 month ago

I find some of the arguments below borderline racist. It is easy to stay on a high horse and judge an entire country, but for me, it completely contradicts the founding principles of ESC. Also, we should be careful when we measure our goodness with whom we exclude- especially when there are neo-fascist elements creeping up in all western democracies, even to the level of government: Italy and Sweden case in point, not to mention Poland and Hungary (and Israel). Would you agree to “withdraw” your country from Eurovision if one day, just like in happened in the past, your… Read more »

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  NickC

I wasn’t talking about “banning” them, just not “inviting” them. Pedantic maybe, but I don’t see them as the same thing. They’re not members, and they didn’t show this year’s contest. They don’t deserve an invitation, which could mean another actual member losing a spot in the final.

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

They don’t meet the criteria yet the broadcaster claims there’s “every chance” to participate. They shouldn’t be taken seriously at all.

ANTIFA
ANTIFA
1 month ago
Reply to  NickC

Well said, Nick!!!

Héctor
Héctor
1 month ago

I won’t mind it as long as there is no Russian or Russians involved. Not because of the war but because of the block voting. The least I’d want is another ex-soviet country giving Russia their 8,10 or 12 points.

Also, Australia managed to participate even if there aren’t many viewers during the live broadcast, but how is Kazakhstan going to handle it with lesser population and a slightly different culture?

:::
:::
1 month ago
Reply to  Héctor

Who could give Russia points if they’re banned?

Una
Una
1 month ago

Regardless of *politics*, the expected own dialling code and the status of associated member: the three shows must be broadcast live. Shows start at 9pm CET and Kazakhstan’s time is extra 4 hours east. Shows would be broadcast from 1am next day. Also, with the mandatory televote, how will the broadcaster ensure that people will watch and vote?

Ria NL
Ria NL
1 month ago

I really hope so, their Junior eurovision entry’s are very beautiful ! I keep my fingers crossed!!

Devito
1 month ago

I am just expecting Kazakhstan would send an actual KAZAKH and not some Russian to represent them.

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago
Reply to  Devito

Why not, if they would pay for all of it?

Benito Camelo
Benito Camelo
1 month ago
Reply to  Devito

They have excellent artists, so let’s hope they get the chance to represent Kazakhstan if the country’s finally invited!

Polegend Godnova
1 month ago

with the shrinking amount of participating countries, it’d be nice to have a new participant.

MonsieurMüller
MonsieurMüller
1 month ago

OMG… that would be so exciting!!! Besides the fact that Eurovision 2023 will be in the UK. There is no doubt Kazakhstan will bring an awesome entry, they’re so eager and enthusiastic to take part in ESC!

LoveBunny69
LoveBunny69
1 month ago

Just invite them ?

Go_A stan
Go_A stan
1 month ago

Kazakh is such a great language, sounds like turkish and has some great rhythm. Fingers crossed

Ron
Ron
1 month ago

If this gets confirmed, I am starting a petition. EBU is going in the wrong direction. Eurovision may not be about politics, but in these dictatorships, Eurovision is politicized at the highest political level -case in point, Azerbaijan.

Luke B
Luke B
1 month ago

I really hope they do join next year. Given their good track record at JESC they deserve it, and hopefully the dialling code will resolve the issue. With other countries having left, we could do with some newbies. OK, there is the human rights issue, but Eurovision is a song contest, not the UN Human Rights Council. Politics should be left at the door, as much as possible anyway. (And no, I’m not saying Russia should have participated. Starting an unprovoked invasion, killing thousands of civilians, and denying the existence of a whole country and culture is a step too… Read more »

Fast Food Music Lover
Fast Food Music Lover
1 month ago

Yes! Can’t wait for Kazakhstan to slay the contest.

Azuro
Azuro
1 month ago

I’ve long thought the informal deal was if they win Junior Eurovision they will be invited as guests to adult Eurovision, this statement about their Jesc success impacting their chances of ESC participation seems to confirm it.

Would be weird when they have the interview with JESC winner at the main contest when he or she says they from a country not even participating

Yep
Yep
1 month ago

– Eurovision 2012 in Baku?

– Winter Olympics in Sochi 2014?

– FIFA World Cup in Doha, Qatar; this December?

Corrupted countries put a lot of effort to make their reputation better, but are we willing to close our eyes because of money?

Him
Him
1 month ago
Reply to  Yep

will probably just be Russian artists representing Kazakhstan…

Benito Camelo
Benito Camelo
1 month ago
Reply to  Him

Kazakhstan isn’t too fond of Russians anymore

Tulia
Tulia
1 month ago

They didn’t even broadcast Eurovision this year, also why’d we want to welcome a country run by a dictator? We already have enough corruption because of Azerbaijan.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago

Also, they didn’t even show this year’s Eurovision from Torino. They said nobody interested. Nothing to do with Ukraine winning.

Colin
Colin
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

In that case, it’s a done deal, right? By current rules, not showing the previous edition means not having a debut. So, perhaps another year…

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Colin

I hope so, but rules are only rules until they’re not. Like when they threw away the membership thing for Australia.

Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

Same mental gymnastics could happen with the argument of love love peace peace and unity unity among the nations.

Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

If people were not interested in watching this year, what could possibly make them change their minds a year later? So funny.

Sir Stevia
Sir Stevia
1 month ago

Isn’t Kazakhstan under a dictatorship? Personally I’d prefer if countries that are under a dictatorship don’t partake in ESC. Just my opinion. I’m sure most would disagree.

Colin
Colin
1 month ago
Reply to  Sir Stevia

Define ”dictatorship” in legal terms. Yugoslavia was, until 1980 at least, a dictatorship under Tito. As in, he was the leader for life, without elections held. Still, there was no expansionism ideas, and the people could progresively get more and more outside exposure and could travel freely. Russia wasn’t, until 2022, technically a true dictatorship on paper. Sure, Putin was already a ”de facto” dictator, but formally, he was elected multiple times, shifting his position from ”prime minister” to ”president” back and forth. To be able to ban dictatorships, EBU would have to formally define what a dictatorship is, or… Read more »

Sir Stevia
Sir Stevia
1 month ago
Reply to  Colin

+1 : )

Devito
1 month ago
Reply to  Colin

There’s this thing called a democracy index (then – DI). It evaluates countries on many different civil liberties and rights, then countries are divided into four groups: full democracies, flawed democracies, hybrid regimes and authoritarian regimes. So, the EBU, if in desire, could simply follow the DI and allow to take part in Eurovision only those countries which are full or flawed democracies. Based on the DI there are 21 full democracies and 53 flawed democracies in the world only, much less so in Europe. Then again, we would face a dilemma such as, in DI 2022 Ukraine fell in… Read more »

Sir Stevia
Sir Stevia
1 month ago
Reply to  Devito

Thank you for the info!

Nicky
Nicky
1 month ago
Reply to  Sir Stevia

No, i mean the current president got criticized over his approach towards covid pandemic, but he’s most certainly not a dictator

i’m sure it’s a better country than Russia, Belarus at the moment, and their music scene is also very diverse, from ethnic q-pop to mainstream q-pop (mainstream is more similar to korean k-pop, ethnic q-pop is edgy, alternative pop)
but regular pop with a kazakhi touch too (Luina is similar to artists like Efendi, Eleni, Tamta, with a quirky hint of female Mikolas, Hey Yo is a great bop from her, google it)

Colin
Colin
1 month ago

Sure, why not? With Russia and Belarus (so far, in a long run) out, there are spots open. I’d also like to see Monaco, Andorra, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Hungary, and Turkiye back at some point, but having Kazakhstan in the adult ESC also feels like a good idea. As long as there’s effort and fair play from their part, they are welcome.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Colin

I was just reading the Wiki page for Khabar. Not sure if I like what I read.

Colin
Colin
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

I’m not exactly enamoured with the idea of introducing another authoritarian regime to ESC either. It could, on a good side, help the Kazakhs see other cultures in a positive light, and create a mutual breaking of barriers and prejudices. On a flip side, we should be wary of the human rights issues participating countries have. It’s often a balancing act of opening up vs keeping some basic moral standards.

Colin
Colin
1 month ago
Reply to  Colin

*while keeping some moral standards* not ”vs”, of course.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Colin

I worry that by inviting them to play with us, it gives them some sort of validation, and people across Europe just start assuming that everything is okay. I remember people being surprised at what happened in Belarus, they had no idea their was a dictator so close. I also don’t like giving them the chance at a big platform for propaganda. Like Baku 2012.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

There

Jason
Jason
1 month ago
Reply to  Colin

Authoritarian regimes have always existed in Eurovision. Francoist Spain was in the competition for 14 years. Portugal also was authoritarian for the first decade of its participation. Belarus and Russia are obviously authoritarian. Azerbaijan as well. Yugoslavia participated and was authoritarian. You also have a lot of nations in Europe electing far-right governments Sweden, Poland, Hungary, and Italy to name a few. Europe is backsliding as a whole. I am of course not a fan of authoritarianism but to use it as a metric for future members when it already exists in current participants is hypocritical. The call is quite… Read more »

tom
tom
1 month ago
Reply to  Colin

Slovakia almost came back in 2023 but just almost, they found a new excuse

Benito Camelo
Benito Camelo
1 month ago
Reply to  tom

I mean, they’re afraid of coming back and faring like they did before pulling out, I can’t blame them. I think the only way where Slovakia can surely come back is if Czechia wins

Esc addict
Esc addict
1 month ago

I don’t know I will remain neutral on this, the only thing is that the limited human rights in this country doesn’t really fit the Eurovision values at all, but while some others actual and past participating countries are not better about this …
One thing remarkable is their big determination to participate since years while some already participating countries don’t show motivation at all.

Zander25
Zander25
1 month ago

Isn’t Australia last participation would be at 2023 unless they given another extension, then there’s Belarus and Russia who got banned and numerous countries in peril due to unpaid debt and some prefer not to comeback. I think it would be great to welcome new countries who are Interested in Eurovision.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
1 month ago
Reply to  Zander25

I think 2023 is Australia’s last year of participation under their Current contract, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it got renewed for another few years.

Polegend Godnova
1 month ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

let’s not be silly, they’re pretty much a permanent participant at this point

Rydowg
Rydowg
1 month ago
Reply to  Zander25

Wouldn’t it be cool if Australia win that they are allowed to invite New Zealand? Culture ties to Europe, Timezone exactly 12 hours ahead of GMT (6am isn’t too early to wake up)…TVNZ an associate member of EBU….would atleast give Australia a chance at getting some public votes too.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
1 month ago

We’ll see if Kazakhstan ever makes its debut at the grown-up Eurovision, but I think it’s a bit over optimistic to expect them to debut for 2023. I think a 2024 or 2025 debut is more likely If it ever happens. But I’m not holding my breath for a Kazakh debut.

yarem
yarem
1 month ago

I mean, given their good quality of entries in the junior contest, I would say it would be worth giving them a chance. I hope this is the case, would be nice to have them part of both contests.

Henno
Henno
1 month ago

Great stuff! I hope it works out – come join the fun Kazahkstan, you are more than welcome!

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Henno

I do not believe in normalizing authoritarian states. Yes, it will give the nice people of Kazakhstan a week of fun television, but long term it will do them much more harm.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago

I would like to know more about the difference between “associate” member and actual member. I’m talking money. It does not seem fair to kick out Romania for unpaid bills, and then welcome others who never have to pay those bills in the first place.

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

I doubt australia gets to perform at eurovision for free

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Frisian esc

Of course not. They need to pay the participation fee, but not the overall membership fee. Which is much bigger.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

I think it’s based on geography. Australia and Kazakhstan are associates members because they are just outside the speare to be considered full-time members.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

Yeah, but do they need to pay to be associates? How much? A lot less than actual members, I’m guessing.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

I have no idea to be honest. I’m not an expert in how EBU membership works.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

Every member pays a different amount, a percentage of their annual budget. The biggest countries pay the most, the smallest the least. I’m not sure if associate members pay anything – probably not much. I can’t see NBC or CBS or ABC being associate members if it cost them much money.