Eurovision organisers rule that Ukraine cannot host 2023 ceremony due to ‘high’ security risks

The organisers of the Eurovision Song Contest have officially ruled that the 2023 competition will not be held in Ukraine.

It is tradition for the winners of the previous year’s Eurovision to host the following year.

This year’s Eurovision was won by the Ukrainian entry of Kalush Orchestra. However, the country’s ongoing war with Russia has made hosting the event in Ukraine too dangerous.

In a statement published on Thursday (23 June), the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said that it had conducted a “full assessment and feasibility study” and had concluded the “security and operational guarantees” needed to host the event could not be fulfilled.

“The EBU fully understands the disappointment that greeted the announcement that the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) cannot be staged in Ukraine, this year’s winning country,” the statemet 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 in the host country.”

It continued: “At least 10,000 people are usually accredited to work on, or at, the Eurovision Song Contest including crew, staff and journalists. A further 30,000 fans are expected to travel to the event from across the world. Their welfare is our prime concern.”

The contest’s rules state that the competition can be moved in the event of a force majeure, such as an ongoing war.

“In response to the EBU’s security questionnaire a number of risks that would impact the immediate planning for such a large event, including the ‘severe’ risk of air raids/attacks by aircraft or attacks by drones or missiles, which can cause significant casualties, were highlighted by the Ukrainian assessment provided to us,” the statement added.

“Additionally, the EBU sought third-party expert security advice which clearly stated that the counter measures proposed to mitigate the threats planning the event in Ukraine were insufficient for an international public event and the risk rating of a mass casualty event due to the ongoing conflict is ‘high’.”

It was further highlighted that the Russia-Ukraine conflict made delegations and participants “reluctant” to travel to the country.

“We also noted the comments made by the NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, that the war in Ukraine ‘could take years’,” it said.

While the new site has yet to be formally announced, many expect the location to be moved to the UK, which finished in second place at this year’s competition.

Douglas Mateo

Douglas holds a position as a content writer at Neptune Pine. His academic qualifications in journalism and home science have offered her a wide base from which to line various topics. He has a proficiency in scripting articles related to the Health industry, including new findings, disease-related, or epidemic-related news. Apart from this, Douglas writes an independent blog and assists people in living healthy life.

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