Russia officially banned from the Eurovision Song Contest

Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Russia will no longer be able to participate in the international competition known as the Eurovision Song Contest after they invaded Ukraine earlier this week.

Eurovision’s Reference Group, a committee to help control and guide the competition, recommended Russia be banned, citing both the rules of the event and the values of the Swiss-based organizing entity, the European Broadcasting Union, Deadline reports.

This all comes just one day after the EBU announced Russia would still be invited, despite the war provocation and current incursion into Eastern Ukraine. Previously, multiple countries’ state broadcasters called on the EBU to ban Russia due to the invasion, including Finland, Iceland, and Norway.

In addition to Russia no longer being invited to the contest, the Champions League final has also moved from St. Petersburg, and the Russian Grand Prix has also been canceled.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been widely condemned in the international community, sparking many sanctions against Russia around the globe, including in the U.S.

“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…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,” EBU said in a statment.

The city of Turin in Italy will see the 66th Eurovision unfold on May 14, becoming the third Italian city to host the contest, behind 1965’s competition in Naples and 1991’s competition in Rome. Last year’s Eurovision Contest winners, Måneskin, also hail from the boot-shaped peninsula.