Home World The Nobel Prize Foundation invites Russia and Belarus to return to the Stockholm ceremony

The Nobel Prize Foundation invites Russia and Belarus to return to the Stockholm ceremony

The Nobel Prize Foundation invites Russia and Belarus to return to the Stockholm ceremony

Ambassadors of Russia and its ally Belarus will be invited back to the Nobel Prize ceremony, a decision that sparked criticism from Kiev after the two countries were excluded last year over the Kremlin’s war on Ukraine.

The Nobel Foundation said that ambassadors of all countries represented diplomatically in Sweden and Norway will be invited to attend the awards ceremonies this year. Celebrations take place in Stockholm and Oslo.

“The achievements recognized by the Nobel Prize require openness, exchange and dialogue between peoples and nations,” the foundation said in a statement, adding that it “would like this message to reach everyone, even those who do not share this message with them.” Nobel prize values.

Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko responded Friday, calling on the Nobel Foundation to “support international efforts to isolate Russia and Belarus.” He added that the “decision to return to business as usual” would only reinforce the “sense of impunity” in the Kremlin.

“Most likely, on the day when the Russian ambassador in a beautiful suit sits in the Stockholm concert hall, the Russian army will commit another war crime on the occupied Ukrainian territory,” he wrote.

Five of the six Nobel Prizes are awarded at ceremonies in Stockholm each year, while the Nobel Peace Prize is handed out in Oslo. The private foundation that administers the prizes usually invites ambassadors to attend the ceremony, which takes place on December 10, the anniversary of the death of industrialist Alfred Nobel.

Human rights defenders in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus win the Nobel Prize

The Nobel Foundation banned Moscow and Minsk representatives last year, saying it would “follow Swedish and European diplomatic policy of not inviting Russia and Belarus because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

In this year’s retreat, Vidar Helgesen, executive director of the Nobel Foundation, said it was “clear that the world is increasingly divided into spheres, with less dialogue between those with different points of view.”

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

Critics The move indicated that in recent months a Belarusian court had sentenced imprisoned human rights activist Ales Bialiatsky, one of last year’s Nobel Peace Prize winners, to 10 years in prison.

Belarus sentences Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ales Bialiatsky to 10 years in prison

Bialiatsky shared the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize with the Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties, which works to document alleged war crimes committed by Russia, and the Russian human rights group Memorial.

The Nobel Foundation press office said in an email on Friday that the winners will be announced and invitations sent in October. She said that the tradition is to invite all ambassadors to attend the awards ceremony, while only the ambassadors of the countries that received the awards that year attend the banquet.

The foundation’s statement follows the International Olympic Committee’s announcement that Russia and Belarus will not receive official invitations to the 2024 Games in Paris, although athletes from the two countries may be able to compete as independents.

The International Olympic Committee says it will not invite Russia or Belarus to the Paris Games

It was not immediately clear if the Nobel Foundation’s invitation to all ambassadors also meant that a representative of Iran, which was excluded last year, could attend the ceremony in December.

Tehran said in July that, despite the appointment of a new ambassador to Sweden, it would do so Abstain From the dispatch of the diplomat to take up this position, in protest against the burning of the Holy Qur’an outside a mosque in Stockholm, amid a series of incidents that desecrate the holiest book in Islam.

Along with Russia and Belarus, the Nobel Foundation has excluded Tehran from the 2022 ceremony due to what it described as a “dangerous and escalating situation” in the country during a months-long crackdown on protests in Iran against grievances including gender discrimination and economic neglect.

Serhiy Morgunov contributed to this report.

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