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Nobel Foundation withdraws invitation to Russia, Belarus, Iran to attend ceremonies


In this file photo dated Friday, April 17, 2015, a National Library employee shows off the Nobel Prize gold medal awarded to the late novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez, in Bogota, Colombia. (File photo by Fernando Vergara/AP)

STOCKHOLM — The Nobel Foundation on Saturday withdrew its invitation to representatives of Russia, Belarus and Iran to attend this year’s Nobel Prize ceremonies after the decision announced the day before “provoked strong reactions” .

Several Swedish lawmakers said on Friday they would boycott this year’s Nobel Prize ceremonies in Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, after the private foundation that administers the prestigious prizes changed its stance from a year earlier and invited representatives from all three countries to attend, saying that “promotes opportunities to convey the important messages of the Nobel Prize to everyone.

Some lawmakers cited Russia’s war on Ukraine and Iran’s human rights crackdown as reasons for their boycott. Belarusian opponent Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya on Friday called on the Swedish Nobel Foundation and the Norwegian Nobel Committee not to invite representatives of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s “illegitimate regime” to any event.

On Saturday, she welcomed the decision of the Nobel Foundation. She told The Associated Press it was “a clear sign of solidarity with the Belarusian and Ukrainian people.”

“This is how you show your commitment to the principles and values ​​of the Nobel Prize,” Tikhanovskaya said.

Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenko called the decision a “victory for humanism”.

“Thank you to everyone who demanded justice,” he wrote on Facebook, adding that “a similar decision” should be made regarding the participation of the Russian and Belarusian ambassadors in the celebrations that will take place. in Norway after the ceremony in Sweden.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, who said on Friday he would not have allowed the three countries to take part in the awards ceremony, also said he was satisfied with the decision. He posted on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, that “the numerous and strong reactions show that the whole of Sweden stands unequivocally with Ukraine against the appalling war in ‘aggression of Russia’.

The foundation said on Saturday that it recognized “the strong reactions in Sweden, which completely overshadowed this message” and therefore decided not to invite the ambassadors of Russia, Belarus and Iran to the handover ceremony. prices in Stockholm.

However, he said he would follow his usual practice and invite all ambassadors to the ceremony in Norway’s capital, Oslo, where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded.

Saturday’s announcement was widely welcomed by Swedish politicians. Even the Swedish Royal House reacted, with spokeswoman Margareta Thorgren saying, quoted by the Aftonbladet newspaper, that “we consider the change in the decision to be positive”. She added that King Carl XVI Gustaf planned to present this year’s Nobel Prizes at ceremonies in Stockholm “as before”.

This year’s Nobel Prize winners will be announced in early October. Winners are then invited to receive their prizes at glittering award ceremonies on December 10, the anniversary of the death of the Alfred Nobel Prize founder in 1896.


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Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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