Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s did not request to speak at the Eurovision song contest, his spokesperson, Serhiy Nykyforov has stated. This clarification comes after reports stating that Zelenskyy was declined a platform at the popular international event.
“The President’s Office did not approach Eurovision organizers with a proposal for an online performance by Zelenskyy during the final or at any other stage of the competition,” Nykyforov stated.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which oversees the Eurovision Song Contest, had earlier asserted that Zelenskyy’s proposed appearance was declined due to the non-political nature of the show.
“This principle prohibits the possibility of making political or similar statements as part of the Contest. The request by Mr Zelensky to address the audience at the Eurovision Song Contest, whilst made with laudable intentions, regrettably cannot be granted by the European Broadcasting Union management as it would be against the rules of the event,” the EBU communicated in a statement.
It added that it made efforts to include Ukraine otherwise: 11 Ukrainian artists, including last year’s winner Kalush Orchestra, will perform at the event. As well, a Ukrainian design agency collaborated with the organizers to create the visual identity of the event, and Ukrainian musicians also contributed to the composition of the music that will accompany the show.
Before each artist performs on stage, a short film will introduce them and their connection to one of the 37 locations in Ukraine that were chosen for these “postcards.”
Ukraine was slated to host this year’s Eurovision after the Kalush Orchestra’s victory in 2022 in Turin. However, due to the Russian invasion, Ukraine’s national broadcaster, UAPBC, announced in October that they were unable to host the 67th edition due to safety concerns. Consequently, the contest was moved to the UK.