Zelenskyy barred from delivering Eurovision video message

President Zelenskyy wanted to send a Eurovision message

Zelenskyy barred from delivering Eurovision video message Credit: Dmytro Larin/Shutterstock.com

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had his request to send a video message to the Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool blocked by the event’s organisers the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) on Friday.

The EBU, of which the BBC are a member, comprises numerous broadcasters from around Europe. They have made it clear that from the very beginning of the contest, this has been a non-political and purely for-entertainment event.

Ukraine, who won the competition last year during their ongoing attack by Russia, would by rights have been the host this year, as per Eurovision tradition. But due to the military crisis, last year’s runners-up the UK have taken on hosting duties.

With the EBU sticking closely to their guidelines and declining President Zelenskyy‘s request, noted politicians and celebrities have come out in response to the decision, with MP Huw Merriman keeping it very neutral as seen in a Sky News interview on Twitter:

@HuwMerriman MP says he is disappointed President Zelenskyy has been blocked from making an address at Eurovision but says it is down to European broadcast rules.”

Ex-prime minister Boris Johnson said on Twitter: “It would have been right to hear from President Zelenskyy at tomorrow night’s #Eurovision. There is only one reason the contest is not in Ukraine and that is because of Putin’s illegal war.”

We’ve heard from politicians on the matter but the question on everybody’s lips of course is, what do Jedward think? Luckily Sky News can reveal on Twitter:

Jedward react to the decision by Eurovision bosses to block Ukrainian’s president from addressing the event. They say a speech from Volodymyr Zelenskyy would be “powerful”, adding that “people need to get a grip”.

As it stands, it would seem very unlikely that EBU will backtrack on their longstanding policy and create a precedent for future events. But some will of course view this as an injustice towards a war-torn nation, unable to revel in the glory of hosting the event that they won last year.

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Written by

David Laycock

Dave Laycock has always written. Poems, songs, essays, academic papers as well as newspaper articles; the written word has always held a great fascination for him and he is never happier than when being creative. From a musical background, Dave has travelled the world performing and also examining for a British music exam board. He also writes, produces and performs and records music. All this aside, he is currently fully focussed on his journalism and can’t wait to share more stories from around the world and beyond.