"Missiles, air attacks"Eurovision points out the risks of a 2023 competition in Ukraine

Eurovision explains in a press release its decision not to authorize Ukraine to organize the next edition of the competition, which was met with disappointment by the country last week.

The anger of the Ukrainians will not change anything, the European Broadcasting Union, organizer of Eurovision, confirms this Thursday that the country will not be able to host the 2023 edition despite its victory in Turin last May. In a long press release, the organization explains this decision. “We totally understand the disappointment,” they write, before continuing:

“This decision was guided by the EBU’s responsibility to ensure that the conditions are met to guarantee the safety of everyone working and participating in the event, the organization of which starts immediately in the host country. .”

Tradition has it that the country that wins an edition of this international tele-hook organizes the next one on its territory. The victory of the Ukrainian group Kalush Orchestra during Eurovision 2022, in the midst of the Russian offensive, cast doubt on the country’s ability to host this gigantic event next year. Although President Volodomyr Zelensky himself has expressed his desire to host Eurovision 2023, the ax fell on Friday when the EBU officially opposed it.

“Force Majeure”

Ukrainian Culture Minister Oleksandre Tkatchenko had called for “additional negotiations”. They will not take place, according to the new EBU press release:

“The rules of the European Song Contest, to which all broadcasters agree, clearly provide that the venue of the event can be changed in the event of force majeure, such as a war”, can we read.

The EBU refers to “the risks” identified by the security questionnaire completed by Ukraine, in particular the “severe risks of raids and attacks by aircraft, or attacks by drones or missiles”, as well as the assessment by an outside security expert, who “clearly states that the measures proposed to limit the threats posed by the organization of the event in Ukraine were insufficient for an international public event”.

Towards a 2023 edition in the United Kingdom?

Finally, the EBU adds that “delegations and participants” are reluctant to go there, and specifies that the possibility of organizing the competition in a neighboring country is also moving away. And to point out “that no international tour will pass through Ukraine in 2023”.

The country that will host the contest has not yet been determined. But the EBU announced last week that it had entered into discussions with the British broadcaster BBC; UK contestant Sam Ryder placed second behind Kalush Orchestra in the last edition.

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