Alexander Lukashenko has made his first public comments about Belarus being told to change its song for the Eurovision Song Contest 2021.
Alexander Lukashenko the disputed President of Belarus has made his first public comments on the European Broadcasting Unions demands the nation to change its Eurovision entry. Belta reports that he informed the press that:
They are already starting to press us on all fronts. Even at Eurovision, I’m watching. What are these guys there? Well, they just added authority to them. As they say, good PR. Well, if anything, we’ll make another song. No question.
The Belarusian broadcaster has yet to comment on whether Galasy ZMesta will submit a new song for the contest or a new act will be chosen for the contest. Yesterday the broadcaster said in a statement that:
At present Belteleradiocompany is in continuous dialogue with the permanent services of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the owner of the Eurovision Song Contest. As soon as the final decision on the format of participation is made, Belteleradiocompany will be ready to answer all questions related to the organization of this project.
The European Broadcasting Union released a statement on March 11 stating that Belarus must modify or change their song for Eurovision 2021 and if no changes were to occur that they would be disqualified.
Statement from the EBU regarding Belarus’ Eurovision Song Contest 2021 entry. pic.twitter.com/q25Eh80Plx
— Eurovision Song Contest (@Eurovision) March 11, 2021
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.