CULTURE

Ukraine insists it can still host next year’s Eurovision

UKRAINE’S culture minister has hit out at Eurovision Song Contest organisers after they abandoned plans to host the annual spectacular in the under-siege country. 

In a statement this morning, the EBU said Russia’s invasion meant “the security and operational guarantees required for a broadcaster to host, organize and produce the Eurovision Song Contest” could not be fulfilled by Ukraine’s state broadcaster. 

Instead, “in accordance with the rules and to ensure the continuity of the event,” they were in talks with the BBC to host next year’s event in Britain. 

The news led to a flurry of towns and cities across the UK offering to stage the event. 

Glasgow’s council leader Susan Aitken said it was a “complete no-brainer” for Eurovision to come to the city. 

“Glasgow stands ready to welcome all Eurovision fans to their true spiritual home,” she tweeted. “We are mentioned in an ABBA song after all. It’s meant to be.”

Aberdeen’s MSPs and MPs wrote to BBC Director General Tim Davie to say the city was “perfectly placed in terms of infrastructure, cultural offering and sheer enthusiasm to hold the event.”

Similar offers were made by politicians in Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, London, Belfast and Liverpool.

But the Ukrainian culture minister, Oleksandr Tkachenko, has insisted that his country can still host the contest. 

He suggested that hosting Eurovision in the UK would undermine the country in its war with Vladimir Putin. 

In a Telegram post, Mr Tkachenko said: “Ukraine does not agree with the nature of such a decision when we were confronted with the fact without discussing the possibility of other options.

“Ukraine believes that it has every reason to hold further negotiations and find a joint solution that will satisfy all parties. 

“We honestly won Eurovision 2022 and have now fulfilled all the conditions in the specified time for the process of approval of its holding in Ukraine

“The holding of Eurovision 2023 in Ukraine is a strong signal to the whole world that it supports Ukraine now. 

“We will demand that this decision be changed, because we believe that we will be able to fulfil all the commitments we have made. That is why we demand additional negotiations.”

There was support for Ukraine’s position. 

Councillor Aitken tweeted: “In all seriousness, Ukraine has asked to be given more time to explore further whether they would be in a position to host and they should definitely be supported in that. 

“That’s the outcome we all want to see.”




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