THE 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will not be held in Ukraine despite winning the competition in May as a result of the Russian invasion of the country.
Tradition stipulates that the winner of the contest hosts the competition the following year, providing certain criteria including ensuring viability of staging the event and the safety of all stakeholders, including the public, are met.
"Given the ongoing war since the Russian invasion of this year’s winning country, the EBU has taken the time to conduct a full assessment and feasibility study with both UA:PBC (Ukraine's public broadcaster) and third-party specialists including on safety and security issues," a statement on the matter read.
"The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the most complex TV productions in the world with thousands working on, and attending, the event and 12 months of preparation time needed.
"Following objective analysis, the Reference Group, the ESC’s governing board, has with deep regret concluded that, given the current circumstances, the security and operational guarantees required for a broadcaster to host, organize and produce the Eurovision Song Contest under the ESC Rules cannot be fulfilled by UA:PBC."
The EBU thanked UA:PBC for their "cooperation and commitment" in exploring all scenarios in the week since Ukraine's win on 14 May.
As a result of this decision, in accordance with the rules and to ensure the continuity of the event, the EBU will now begin discussions with the BBC, as this year’s runner up, to potentially host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in the United Kingdom.
However, it is the full intention of the EBU that Ukraine’s win will be reflected in next year’s shows.