Nobel Foundation reverses decision to invite Russian ambassador to award ceremonytext_fields
Stockholm: The Nobel Foundation has revoked its invitation to the Russian and Belarusian ambassadors to attend this year's Nobel award ceremony in Stockholm after the move provoked backlash.
In 2022, the Nobel Foundation had chosen not to extend invitations to the Russian and Belarusian ambassadors for the Stockholm award event due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. A similar decision was made regarding the Iranian envoy in response to Iran's crackdown on a series of protests.
However, on Thursday, the Swedish foundation announced a return to its previous practice of inviting ambassadors from all nations represented in Sweden, triggering widespread indignation.
The foundation asserted that its decision was rooted in the belief that it was vital and appropriate to disseminate the values and messages upheld by the Nobel Prize as widely as possible. Yet, the strong negative reactions to this decision soon overshadowed its intended message.
Consequently, the Nobel Foundation decided to maintain last year's exception to the standard practice, which entails not inviting the ambassadors of Russia, Belarus, and Iran to the Nobel Prize award ceremony in Stockholm, as outlined in their statement.
The Norwegian Nobel Institute, in contrast, continued to invite all ambassadors to the Peace Prize ceremony it organises in Oslo, and this practice will be upheld.
The Nobel Prize award ceremony is a prominent event held annually in Stockholm on December 10.
During this event, laureates in the fields of medicine, physics, chemistry, literature, and economics receive their awards from King Carl XVI Gustaf. Simultaneously, a separate ceremony is conducted in Oslo on the same day to honour the Peace Prize laureate.
The Nobel Foundation's decision to again extend invitations to the Russian and Belarusian representatives elicited criticism both in Sweden and internationally. The Ukrainian foreign ministry spokesman expressed that the foundation should back initiatives aimed at isolating Russia and Belarus, citing the ongoing suffering of millions of Ukrainians due to an unprovoked war and the perceived absence of consequences for the Russian regime's actions.
Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson also voiced his disagreement with the Foundation's decision, stating that he would not have followed this course if he had been responsible for the invitations. Several prominent Swedish politicians, including leaders of the Centre, Green, Left, and Liberal parties, declared their intention to boycott the event due to the presence of the Russian ambassador.
The Nobel Prize ceremony serves as a celebration of outstanding achievements and contributions in various fields, reflecting the global impact of these laureates' work.