In light of the ongoing situation happening between Russia and Ukraine, a number of European broadcasters have expressed their views on Russia’s participation in Eurovision 2022, with many of these broadcasters calling for the country to be withdrawn from the upcoming contest in Turin.
At present, broadcasters from eight participating countries in this years contest have called on the EBU to remove Russia from Eurovision 2022, with Ukraine being the first to do so. We have also seen Latvian representatives, Citi Zēni, have also called on the EBU to remove Russia from Eurovision 2022.
Icelandic broadcaster RÚV, Danish broadcaster DR, Norwegian broascaster NRK and Finnish broadcaster YLE have all publicly stated that they would withdraw from Eurovision 2022 if Russia is allowed to compete.
Stefán Eiríksson, Radio Director at RÚV has stated: “We have been in contact with our Nordic colleagues who share our concerns about the situation in Ukraine. It is the opinion of all of us that it will not work for Russia to participate in Eurovision in these circumstances. I have full faith that the EBU will take this seriously and responsibly.”
Denmark have followed suit, and have also expressed their concerns at Russia’s participation in Eurovision 2022, with Dansk Melodi Grand Prix producer, Gustav Lützhøft, speaking on the matter to newspaper Ekstra Bladet.
“First of all, I would like to say that it is a serious and extremely unpleasant situation that is unfolding in Ukraine right now. At DR, we find it wrong if Russia is to participate in Eurovision, as the situation is now. That is DR’s position. And we communicate it to the EBU. We are in ongoing dialogue with them.”
Head of Broadcasting at NRK, Gjermund Eriksen, has clearly stated NRK’s views on the current situation, and just like their Nordic neighbours, the broadcaster has faith in the EBU that they will make the right decision.
“NRK has given clear advice to the EBU that Russia can not participate in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest as a result of the invasion of Ukraine. At the same time, this is a member organisation that needs some time to anchor a decision. We have full confidence that the EBU will reach the right decision.”
Yle is one of the latest broadcasters to announce that they will withdraw from Eurovision 2022 if Russia is allowed to compete. Despite this decision, Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu is still set to take place on Saturday 26th February to find Finland’s Eurovision 2022 act, should they participate.
Ville Vilén, Director of Yle’s Creative Content and Media Unit, has stated: “Russia’s attack on Ukraine runs counter to all the values that Yle and other European broadcasters represent. Yle always defends Western democracy, the rule of law, freedom of expression and human dignity. Yle cannot take part in an event where Russia, which has blatantly attacked these values, can use one of Europe’s best-known brands to advance its own interests. I hope that the EBU will act in accordance with its values here.”
When speaking out about Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu, which is due to be taking place tomorrow evening, Ville has said: “Yle’s UMK has been successfully bringing out new domestic music for ten years. We will have some great songs and artists in the finals this year as well. I believe and hope that one of them will have the opportunity to perform for the whole of Europe in May.”
At present, it is unknown what will happen with Russia’s participation in Eurovision 2022, or whether these broadcasters will withdraw from the contest.