Despite vehement complaints from Kyiv, the Eurovision Song Contest’s organizers confirmed on Thursday that the 2023 edition cannot be staged in Ukraine owing to the Russian war.
The world’s largest live music competition was won by Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra last month, and according to tradition, the nation should host the cheesy annual pop spectacle the following year.
However, the European Broadcasting Union said on June 17 that the war-torn nation would be unable to host the 2023 event, which angered fans throughout the continent and led to calls for the Ukrainian government to overturn the decision.
“The EBU fully understands the disappointment that greeted the announcement that the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest cannot be staged in Ukraine, this year’s winning country,” the statement reads.
“The decision was guided by the EBU’s responsibility to ensure the conditions are met to guarantee the safety and security of everyone working and participating in the event, the planning of which needs to begin immediately,” explained.