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Ukraine’s public broadcaster has shared its disappointment with the European Broadcasting Union’s decision regarding the host of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023, with the country’s culture minister also demanding his country gets to host.
On Friday, the EBU announced that Ukraine – who won this year’s competition last month – would not be able to host due to the ongoing war with Russia, with the organisation suggesting the UK as a potential alternative.
The EBU thanked Ukraine’s public broadcaster UA:PBC for their ‘wholehearted cooperation’ as they explored all options, before revealing the United Kingdom is a possibility as host after Sam Ryder finished in second place.
They added: ‘As a result of this decision, in accordance with the rules and to ensure the continuity of the event, the EBU will now begin discussions with the BBC, as this year’s runner up, to potentially host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in the United Kingdom.’
They also noted that whoever the host country ends up being, they will make sure Ukraine’s victory is ‘reflected’ in the shows.
In response, however, Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC has shared its disappointment with the decision, as the country will miss out on an opportunity to address a global audience.
Mykola Chernotytskyi, Head of the Managing Board of UA: PBC, said in a statement to Metro.co.uk: ‘We are disappointed with this decision of the EBU. During this month, a large number of people in Ukraine have thrown all their efforts to fulfill the conditions for holding Eurovision in our country.
‘Security is, of course, our first priority. The team of UA: PBC, state and local authorities did a thorough job and offered different options. It is a pity to see such an unappealable statement, ​​therefore, we ask our partners to hold further negotiations.’
According to the broadcaster, a kick-off meeting took place on June 14, in which contest representatives and the EBU considered the presentation of guarantees and preparatory measures, in particular the security questionnaire and potential locations for the contest.
UA: PBC held consultations with the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, the Ministry of Internal Affairs (National Police, State Emergency Service, National Guard) and the Ministry of Defense and, together with state and local authorities, proposed several options for hosting the event in three different regions of Ukraine: in Lviv, in Zakarpattia (on the border with Hungary and Slovakia) and in Kyiv.
Following this, as reported by Guardian’s media editor Jim Waterson, Ukraine’s culture minister issued a statement on Telegram further hitting out at the decision and insisted Ukraine ‘honestly won’.
The statement signed by culture minister Oleksandr Vladyslavovych Tkachenko, Kalush Orchestra’s Psiuk Oleh, as well as artist Ruslana Stepanivna Lyzhychko and Chernotytskyi read: ‘We honestly won Eurovision and have fulfilled all the conditions within the deadlines for the process of approving its holding in Ukraine…’
This is rapidly becoming a proper diplomatic row.

While UK councils issue jolly press releases about how they want to host Eurovision, the Ukraine culture minister just posted on Telegram demanding his country gets to host. Suggests if BBC/UK hosts then undermines Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/udh4sQ8CDi
Demanding additional negotiations, it went on: ‘Hosting Eurovision – 2023 in Ukraine is a strong signal to the whole world that supports Ukraine now. We will demand to change this decision, because we believe that we will be able to fulfill all the commitments, as we have repeatedly emphathized it to the Eurovision Broadcasting Union. [sic]’
Earlier this week, Ukraine’s culture minister, Oleksandr Tkachenko, revealed he had pitched some possible venues in the country, while he was working with the nation’s security services and prime minister to put a plan together.
He added: ‘We understand that in the current circumstances both we and the EBU face a challenge of organising Eurovision in Ukraine. But we have accepted this challenge and, I am sure, we will surprise everyone.’
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Meanwhile, the EBU noted it has and will continue to support UA:PBC.
‘The EBU has been supporting UA:PBC across a whole range of areas since the invasion. We will ensure that this support continues so UA:PBC can maintain the indispensable service they provide to Ukrainians,’ they added.
‘It is our full intention that Ukraine’s win will be reflected in next year’s shows. This will be a priority for us in our discussions with the eventual hosts.’
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Following the EBU’s announcement, the BBC responded: ‘We have seen the announcement from the EBU.
‘Clearly, these aren’t a set of circumstances that anyone would want. Following their decision, we will of course discuss the BBC hosting the Eurovision Song Contest.’
Metro.co.uk has contacted representatives for UA:PBC for comment.
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