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Backtracking after criticism: Russia has again canceled its invitation to the Nobel Prizes

Backtracking after criticism: Russia has again canceled its invitation to the Nobel Prizes

And the foundation announced on Thursday that, unlike last year, it will once again invite all ambassadors of countries represented in Sweden to the gala in Stockholm this year. As a result, many Swedish politicians announced their desire to boycott the event.

Criticism also came from Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Christson. “I wouldn’t have done it if I were in charge of the invitations to the awards ceremony, and I know that bothers a lot of people in Sweden and Ukraine,” Kristersson said of the Nobel Foundation’s initial plan to invite Russia back.

Reuters/TT News Agency

“I wouldn’t have done that,” Kristerson told Russia’s initial call.

“Backlash”

The Nobel Foundation then reversed its decision to invite the three ambassadors. And justified this with “violent reactions in Sweden.” The initial plan to invite all ambassadors was based on the belief that the “values ​​and messages” of the Nobel Prize should be disseminated as widely as possible. But the reactions “completely overshadowed” this intention.

“Therefore, the Board of Directors of the Nobel Foundation decided to repeat last year’s exception to the usual practice, namely, not to invite the ambassadors of Russia, Belarus and Iran to the Nobel Prize Ceremony in Stockholm,” a statement published on Saturday said. But at the same time, the Nobel Foundation confirmed that all ambassadors will be invited to attend the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Oslo. It also happened last year.

Ukraine welcomes the transition back

A spokesman for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, Oleg Nikolenko, called the 180-degree turn in the Nobel Foundation, which took place in the space of a few hours, “a victory for humanity.” Thank you to everyone who called for the restoration of justice. But the ministry spokesman demanded that the ambassadors of the three countries not be invited to attend the ceremony in Oslo as well.

The Nobel Foundation hosts the Nobel Prize ceremonies in Stockholm and Oslo. Both ceremonies are traditionally performed every year on the 10th of December. In Stockholm, winners in the fields of medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and economics receive their prizes from King Carl XVI. Gustav, followed by a celebratory banquet for about 1,200 guests. The Nobel Peace Prize is presented in Oslo on the same day.

Muratov winner for Moscow “Foreign Agent”

The debate over the invitation policy of the Stockholm Nobel Prize Committee has been overshadowed by growing concerns about Russian Nobel Peace Prize winner Dmitry Muratov. The journalist, who won the Nobel Peace Prize with the Filipino journalist Maria Resa in 2021, is classified by Russia as a “foreign agent,” according to the Kremlin’s information today, Friday.

The Ministry of Justice in Moscow justified this step by accusing the journalist of “using foreign platforms to publish opinions aimed at forming a negative attitude towards the foreign and domestic policies of the Russian Federation.”

“political motives”

The Nobel Peace Prize Committee condemned the Russian approach in the strongest possible terms. The chair of the Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen, said on Saturday that Muratov was awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to promote freedom of expression and an independent press. Sadly, the Russian authorities are now trying to silence him.

Reiss Andersen described the allegations against the editor-in-chief of Russia’s most important independent newspaper as “politically motivated”. The Nobel Committee continues to support the “important work” of Muratov and the newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which he edits.

Novaya Gazeta commented on its website on the move of the Russian judiciary, noting that the list of “foreign agents” now includes 674 “worthy” pregnant women. Novaya Gazeta, which Muratov edits, is known for its investigative reporting on corruption and human rights abuses. Since 2000, six journalists and staff of the newspaper, including investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya, have been murdered.

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