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Swedish politicians boycott Nobel Prize ceremony over Russian invitation

Swedish politicians boycott Nobel Prize ceremony over Russian invitation The Nobel Prize ceremony is being boycotted due to the invitation of Russia to the banquet (Photo:
Author: Daria Shekina

Swedish politicians have begun expressing strong criticism due to the invitation of the Russian ambassador to the banquet celebrating the Nobel Prize awards ceremony in Stockholm. Some of them are planning to boycott the event, according to Aftonbladet.

Days before the Nobel Foundation announced its intention to invite diplomats from all countries accredited in Sweden, including Russian and Belarusian ones, to the banquet for this year's Nobel Prize awards ceremony in Stockholm.

However, according to the article, several leaders of opposition parties canceled their invitations, and government representatives are even considering the possibility of not attending the event.

What politicians are saying

The leader of the Liberal Party, Carl Johan Georg Pehrson, stated that he "will not sit and raise a toast to the Russian ambassador while Putin's abhorrent and bloody aggression in Ukraine continues."

Muharrem Demirok, the leader of the Center Party, said he would not attend the Nobel ceremony if the Russian ambassador were present.

"I was looking forward to the opportunity to be present at the ceremony and the Nobel party. But as long as Russia is at war with Ukraine, I cannot be present at the same party as their ambassador. I am happy to celebrate research and progress, but not under any circumstances," he wrote on Twitter.

Nooshi Dadgostar, the leader of the Swedish Left Party, also stated that she would not participate in the Nobel festivities with a representative of the Russian regime while "bombs are falling over Ukraine."

Former Prime Minister and leader of the Social Democrats Magdalena Andersson reported that she hadn't received an invitation to the ceremony, but according to her, the Nobel Foundation should "seriously consider what it means to invite a representative of a regime that is waging an abhorrent and unlawful war in Ukraine and threatens Sweden."

Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said that the decision to invite Russia saddened many people in both Sweden and Ukraine.

"I received the information last night, and I reacted quite sharply... The Nobel Foundation makes its own decisions. But if I were responsible for the prize ceremony right now, I wouldn't have invited Russia," he said.

When asked if the prime minister would attend the Nobel banquet, Kristersson asked for permission to return to that question later.

Representatives of the Swedish royal family stated that the royal family had received information about the Nobel Foundation's decision but had not provided any comments yet.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Tobias Billström believes that the Nobel Foundation's decision "stands out among others."

"It is the Nobel Foundation that invites and decides who can come to the party. I have not received an invitation to it yet," he said."

Nobel Prize Ceremony 2022

It is worth noting that last year also featured Russian and Belarusian participants. One of the laureates was the Ukrainian human rights organization Center for Civil Liberties.

"The 2022 Peace Prize is awarded to human rights advocate Ales Bialiatski from Belarus, the Russian human rights organisation Memorial and the Ukrainian human rights organisation Center for Civil Liberties," the Nobel Prize press service writes.