Russia has been invited back to a lavish Nobel Prize banquet after being disqualified last year, sparking controversy

Russia has been invited back to a lavish Nobel Prize banquet after being disqualified last year, sparking controversy



CNN

ambassadors from Russia And Belarus They were invited back to Nobel prize The Nobel Foundation said the Nobel Prize was a banquet after it was disqualified last year due to the invasion of Ukraine.

Iran She was also invited to attend a December event in Stockholm, Sweden, after being excluded last year.

The foundation said it wants to involve even those who do not share the values ​​of the Nobel Prize.

“It is clear that the world is increasingly divided into spheres, in which dialogue between people with different points of view is curtailed,” Vidar Helgesen, executive director of the Nobel Foundation, said in a statement Thursday.

“To counter this trend, we are now broadening our calls to celebrate and understand the Nobel Prize and the importance of free science, free culture, and free, peaceful societies,” Helgesen said.

Russians and Belarusians were excluded from Countless events Since Moscow launched its large-scale invasion of Ukraine, with heavy support from Minsk, in February 2022.

Athletes from Russia and Belarus have been banned from competing in many sporting events, and diplomats are regularly excluded from summits.

But the foundation said its decision was made to prevent further “polarization.”

“The achievements recognized by the Nobel Prize require openness, exchange and dialogue between peoples and nations. The Nobel Foundation wishes to communicate this message to everyone,” she said in a statement.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said he did not expect the foundation to invite Russia to this year’s event.

“Naturally, the Nobel Foundation decides for itself who it wants to invite. But I, like many others, reacted very surprised to Russia’s invitation,” Kristerson said in a statement sent to CNN on Friday.

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“I wouldn’t have done that if I were sending invitations to the awards ceremony, and I know that bothers a lot of people both in Sweden and in Ukraine,” he added.

A Swedish member of the European Parliament described the decision as “completely inappropriate.”

“The Nobel Committee is helping to set a precedent, a very dangerous precedent, by giving the green light to invite Russia to a glitzy party while missiles are falling on Ukrainian cultural centers and killing children,” said liberal Swedish parliamentarian Karin Carlsbrough. Swedish National Radio.

Carlsbrough wondered why the foundation called for “three rogue states… that oppress their citizens, wage war and terror in their own countries and in neighboring countries,” and “do not adhere in any way to democratic values.”

“It’s an incredibly naive view, and it undermines the cohesion that we need across society globally, in Europe, to support Ukraine to win this war and stop Putin,” she said.

The Nobel Foundation also reversed its long-standing policy of excluding the world leader Sweden Democratsa far-right party that forms part of the country’s coalition government.

However, despite being invited for the first time, Sweden Democrats leader Jimmy Akesson declined the invitation.

“Sorry, I’m busy that day,” he wrote on Facebook.

The Nobel Banquet is held annually in Stockholm on December 10, when five out of six Nobel Prizes are awarded. The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo, Norway.

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