Yle has called on the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to exclude Russia from this year’s Eurovision Song Contest due to the country’s attack on Ukraine.
Yle added that Finland will withdraw from the competition if Russia is allowed to participate. The annual international songwriting competition will be held this year in the city of Turin, Italy, from 10 to 15. May.
"Russia’s attack on Ukraine runs counter to all the values represented by Yle and other European broadcasters. Yle always defends Western democracy, the rule of law, freedom of speech 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 here in accordance with its values," said Ville VilénHead of Yle’s Creative Content and Media Unit, press release.
In the current situation, Russia is allowed to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest. In response to Yle’s poll, the EBU said Thursday night that the competition is a non-political cultural event, but the situation in Ukraine is being closely monitored.
Also on Thursday, Hanna StjärneThe CEO of the Swedish broadcaster SVT said the EBU should reconsider the matter.
"I understand the idea of Eurovision as a non-political event. However, the situation in Europe is very serious because of the Russian invasion. We have called on the EBU to change its position," Stjärne said on SVT.
Finland’s representative for this year’s competition will be elected in the finals of the New Music Competition (UMK) on Saturday, February 26. The live broadcast will be shown on Yle TV1 and Yle Areena at 9 p.m.
"Yle’s UMK has been successfully bringing in new domestic music for ten years. We also have some great songs and artists in the finals this year. I believe and hope that one of them will have the opportunity to perform for the whole of Europe in May," Vilén said.
Source: The Nordic Page