Eurovision 2023 should take place in Great Britain and not in Ukraine, which nevertheless won the previous edition last May.
Ukraine, which won the Eurovision Song Contest this year, denounced on Friday the decision to withdraw its hosting of the next edition for security reasons after the Russian invasion of its territory.
“Ukraine does not agree with the nature of the decision taken by the European Broadcasting Union,” Culture Minister Oleksandre Tkatchenko said in a statement. “We are calling for additional negotiations on hosting Eurovision-2023 in Ukraine.”
“We will demand that this decision be changed, because we believe that we can keep all the commitments we have made,” added the minister, assuring that his country had so far “fulfilled all the conditions” and “provided answers and guarantees on safety standards” with a view to organizing the next edition of the competition.
Security and operational guarantees “cannot be fulfilled”
Earlier today, the EBU said it was looking into the possibility of second-placed Britain replacing Ukraine to host the next Eurovision Song Contest.
“Under the current circumstances, the security and operational guarantees necessary to host, organize and produce Eurovision (…) cannot be fulfilled” by Ukraine, the EBU said in a statement.
Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in late February, killing tens of thousands and causing massive destruction. About 20% of Ukrainian territory is currently occupied by the Russian military, and many other areas are hit almost daily by Russian missile strikes.
The country of the group or artist who won the Eurovision Song Contest should normally organize the competition the following year. The Kalush Orchestra of Ukraine, whose song “Stefania” mixes hip-hop and traditional music, won the competition in Italy on May 15, ahead of the United Kingdom and Spain, thanks to the vote of television viewers who acclaimed the group representing that country.