The EBU has published a formal statement in relation to the participation of Belarus in the Eurovision Song Contest 2021.
The statement published on social media is as follows:
Statement from the EBU regarding Belarus’ Eurovision Song Contest 2021 entry. pic.twitter.com/q25Eh80Plx
— Eurovision Song Contest (@Eurovision) March 11, 2021
Yesterday, Eurovoix made a statement regarding the participation of Belarus in the contest. We called on the EBU to act in accordance with the rules of the Eurovision Song Contest in relation to the political nature of the lyrics in the song “Ya Nauchi Tebya” (“I’ll Teach You”) by the band Galasy Zmesta. The song has been criticised for lyrics mocking the Belarusian pro-democracy movement.
Eurovoix’s full statement is as follows:
Belarus is currently scheduled to participate in the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 in Rotterdam on 18 May. The EBU has now required the submitted song to be modified or a new song to be submitted in order for Belarus to participate in the event.
Reaction from Galasy ZMesta
BTRC reported earlier today that they had been meeting with the group today to discuss their plans for Eurovision, prior to the announcement from the EBU. The lead singer of the group has stated to the Russian press agency RIA that:
I have strong suspicions that we will not edit anything. And that’s where it’s over.
The lead singer of the group states that it may be the case that Belarus refuses to participate in the contest.
Events in Belarus
In August 2020, the Presidential election in Belarus in which incumbent Alexander Lukashenko was re-elected to a sixth term was the subject of widespread claims of electoral fraud. International monitors have labeled the election neither free nor fair. Following the election, significant and widespread protests have occurred in Belarus.
The Belarusian broadcaster, BTRC, has been subject to a campaign for its removal from the EBU. Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who stood as the main opposition candidate in the disputed 2020 elections, has given her support to this campaign. Ms. Tsikhanouskaya supports the move due to the financial benefits that BTRC receives from ad revenue, the high ratings of the Eurovision Song Contest, and the prestige it brings to BTRC. Participation in the contest requires a national broadcaster to be a member of the EBU.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2021 will take place on May 18, 20 and 22 in Rotterdam. A total of 41 countries will take part in the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Eurovision 2020 was due to be held in Rotterdam after Duncan Laurence gave the Netherlands their first victory since 1975 with the song “Arcade”. After the cancellation of the 2020 contest, it was decided that Rotterdam would host the 2021 contest instead.
Source: EBU / RIA