Russia will no longer be allowed to participate in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, the European Broadcasting Union has said.
The move is an about face from their position just 24 hours earlier, and a history of sidestepping politics.
It comes as State broadcasters including Iceland, Norway and the Netherlands had called for Russia to be banned from the contest and Finland which said it would refuse to participate if Russia proceeded.
In a statement the European Broadcasting Union said, “The Executive Board of the EBU made the decision following a recommendation earlier today by the Eurovision Song Contest‘s governing body, the Reference Group, based on the rules of the event and the values of the EBU.
“The Reference Group recommendation was also supported by the EBU’s Television Committee.
“The decision reflects concern that, in light of the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine, the inclusion of a Russian entry in this year’s Contest would bring the competition into disrepute.
“Before making this decision the EBU took time to consult widely among its membership.
“The EBU is an apolitical member organization of broadcasters committed to upholding the values of public service.
“We remain dedicated to protecting the values of a cultural competition which promotes international exchange and understanding, brings audiences together, celebrates diversity through music and unites Europe on one stage.”
Russia’s act for 2022 was yet to be announced.