Ukraine had been awarded the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest after Ukrainian performer won the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy.
After Russia launched an unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine in February of this year, the hosting of the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest by Ukraine has become quite problematic, due to ongoing Russian assault on its neighbor state.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) issued a statement this week, announcing that the United Kingdom will host the next year’s Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Ukraine.
“The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the BBC are pleased to confirm that the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will be hosted in the United Kingdom on behalf of this year’s winning broadcaster, Ukraine,” the statement reads.
“Ukraine, as the winning country of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, will also automatically qualify to the Grand Final of the upcoming Contest. Next year’s Host City will be chosen in the coming months following a bidding process to be launched this week,” the EBU added.
The Ukraine’s broadcaster UA: PBC will work with the BBC to develop Ukrainian elements of the show.
Mykola Chernotytskyi, Head of the Managing Board of UA:PBC, said:
“The 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will not be in Ukraine but in support of Ukraine. We are grateful to our BBC partners for showing solidarity with us. I am confident that together we will be able to add Ukrainian spirit to this event and once again unite the whole of Europe around our common values of peace, support, celebrating diversity and talent.”
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote on Twitter that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, and he had agreed last week “that wherever Eurovision 2023 is held, it must celebrate the country and people of Ukraine.”
“As we are now hosts, the UK will honor that pledge directly – and put on a fantastic contest on behalf of our Ukrainian friends,” Johnson said.
Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra won the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Italy’s Turin. The UK took second place, while Spain was third.
Traditionally, the song contest takes place in the winning country. Ukraine initially announced its readiness to host the Eurovision Song Contest in 2023 but the EBU later said that the possibility to hold the event in the UK was under consideration due to ongoing war of aggression waged by Russia against Ukraine.