MOSCOW, RUSSIA – According to German magazine Stern, the European Broadcasting Union seems to have send a letter to the Russian national broadcasting asking for security re-assurance in case Russia wins the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest.
NDR’s Thomas Schreiber explains the move made because of many countries already expressed concern over potential hosting of Eurovision 2015 by Russia.
The Reference Group member Christer Björkman from Sweden seems to have stated that Sweden will not participate in a contest in Russia (actually said Moscow, but we all know that if Russia wins it will not be again in Moscow). This is not the first time Sweden expresses such a possibility.
It is common sentiment inside SVT that Sweden is not likely interested to participate in a senior Eurovision edition in Minsk for example, although they participated normally in Junior Eurovision 2010 in Belarus.
Russia’s recent anti-gay law and attraucities aside to the law implementation have risen big questions for Russia’s human rights, although recent polls from Moscow show that indeed their society is anti-gay by definition (in a percentage appraoching 90%).
Still, the threats from various politicians that even gay tourists will be arrested in Sochi Winter Olympic Games if they ciolate the law has reated a very negative sentiment throughout the rest of civilized Europe.
In the letter EBU asks Channel One and RTR four questions about artistic freedom and safety of the artists and fans.
It also known that ARD has asked many times for EBU to exclude Belarus from the Eurovision Song Contest as they consider Belarus as a dictatorship.
It is also known that Ictimai was also “forced” into giving re-assurance to the EBU before hosting the 2012 Eurovision edition about the freedom of press in order to secure the liberty of expression from international media during the contest.
In the overall though: should we vote for Russia and it’s laws or vote for the Russian entry and artist? Should we also ask ourselves how Russian fans and delegations who are most of them straight can cope with the open homosexuality when they visit the other countries during Eurovision?
and I ask: isn’t better for Russia to win for gay lobbies to actually make an impact?
The ultimate question though will be: if Russia guarantees artist’s and fans freedom of expression and security will SVT jury vote for the Russian song based on it’s music and performance? if EBU doesn’t take the necessary re-assurance will they exclude them from Eurovision 2014 in advance and not just using them to get their fee and participation?
Shouldn’t we keep the Eurovision Contest, as a SONG Contest?