“One of the pillars of the contest is its apolitical nature. This principle prohibits political or similar statements during the contest,” the EBU has argued to prevent the intervention of the Ukrainian president, Volodímir Zelenski, during the final of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky will not be able to intervene via video message in the Eurovision final, the organization of the contest announced on Thursday.
“Mr Zelensky’s request to address the Eurovision audience, although made with laudable intentions, cannot be grudgingly accepted as it would break the rules of the event,” said the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organizes the contest.
“One of the pillars of the contest is its apolitical nature. This principle prohibits political or similar statements during the contest,” explained the EBU.
This year’s contest is being held in Liverpool, in the north of England, as the UK has offered to host Eurovision instead of last year’s winner Ukraine, which should have hosted the contest but had to forgo it due to the Russian invasion.
The final, which will take place on Saturday and in which 26 countries will participate, will include a special tribute to Ukrainewith performances by 11 Ukrainian artists, including last year’s winner, Kalush Orchestra, the EBU reported.
During the evening, video clips showing different parts of the country will be screened.
Liverpool also inaugurated a monument to Ukraine as a “symbol of hope”an aluminum statue of a man holding a book from which a dove with a Ukrainian flag flies out.
It will remain in Strawberry Field, the garden surrounding the Salvation Army orphanage that gave its name to the Beatles’ cult psychedelic song, before being sent to Ukraine when peace was restored.
Russia was excluded from the contest this year, as in the 2022 edition.