Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the country on Thursday called for exclusion of Russian representation from this year's Eurovision Song Contest, reports said on Thursday. In another act of sanctioning Russia over the attack on its neighbor, UEFA said the Russian city of Saint Petersburg will no longer host the final of the Champions League.
The Public Broadcasting Association of Ukraine reached out to the European Broadcasting Union and said that Russia is "violating the international law," and hence should be prohibited from participating in the continental singing contest.
Mykola Chernotytskyi, head of the Ukraine's broadcasting association, blamed the Russian Broadcasting Union for becoming a puppet of the government, claiming that they "contradict the basic idea of public broadcasting and provide open support of the Kremlin's illegal actions that threaten the European and international peace".
Alina Pash, the Ukrainian singer who withdrew from the Eurovision contest after visiting the annexed Crimea peninsula, bluntly stated that Russia's President Vladimir Putin is the "Hitler of the 21st century". The singer called on the Russian nation "not to allow Hitler to make you become a part of this madness" and to "speak. rise up. be brave. be aware".
British media published a message on behalf of the European Broadcasting Union on Thursday, stating that the contest will include both Ukrainian and Russian representatives, despite "Russia's aggression".
The organizers said that the Eurovision is a "a-political cultural event that unites countries and celebrates the diversity with music". More so, the Eurovision organizers attested that they will continue to "follow the situation up close".
The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), meanwhile, announced it will no longer host the Champions League final in Russia due to the Ukrainian invasion.
The competition was meant to take place on May 28th in St. Petersburg, but UEFA executive committee decided to move the final to Paris in the wake of the invasion. The governing body of football in Europe has thanked France's President Emmanuel Macron for his "personal support and commitment" in taking on the final.
“UEFA shares the international community’s significant concern for the security situation developing in Europe and strongly condemns the ongoing Russian military invasion in Ukraine,” the governing body said in a statement.
“We remain resolute in our solidarity with the football community in Ukraine and stand ready to extend our hand to the Ukrainian people.”