Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy ‘Barred’ From Eurovision Telecast

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy ‘Barred’ From Eurovision Telecast

May 12, 2023

Ukrainian leader President Zelenskyy has reportedly been barred from making an address during the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday.

The Times of London reports the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which runs the contest, turned down Zelenskyy’s request on the grounds that it would politicize the event.

“The Eurovision Song Contest is an international entertainment show and governed by strict rules and principles which have been established since its creation. As part of these, one of the cornerstones of the contest is the non-political nature of the event,” an EBU spokesman told the Times. “This principle prohibits the possibility of making political or similar statements as part of the contest. The request by Mr Zelenskyy to address the audience at the Eurovision Song Contest, whilst made with laudable intentions, regrettably cannot be granted as it would be against the rules of the event.”

This year’s Eurovision, which is being held in the British city of Liverpool, is set to be a joint effort between Ukraine and the U.K. following Ukraine’s win last year. Traditionally the winner of the contest hosts it the following year but due to the ongoing war in Ukraine the EBU deemed it impossible for the country to host. The U.K., which came in second place last year and has been a strong ally to Ukraine as it battles the continuing Russian invasion, was selected as a back-up with Ukraine assisting in its organization.

Since Russian’s invasion of Ukraine in Feb. 2022 Zelenskyy, who was an actor before becoming a political leader, has become as known for his savvy media appearances as his wartime leadership, with VT appearances at events including the Grammys and the Golden Globes.

Pictured above: President Zelenskyy giving a speech at the Golden Globes.

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