In contrast to ‘Alfred Nobel’s values’: The invitation of the Russian and Belarusian ambassadors to the upcoming Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm drew widespread boos, from the Swedish prime minister to Kiev.
The Nobel Foundation, which is organizing the awards ceremony and grand gala dinner in the Swedish capital, announced Thursday that it will invite all ambassadors of countries present in Sweden to attend the ceremony this year, to promote dialogue in favor of peace.
Last year, she decided not to invite the two ambassadors because of the war in Ukraine, as well as the Iranian ambassador because of the suppression of the protest movement. All three are invited this year.
A Ukrainian ministry spokesperson responded, “As long as millions of Ukrainians continue to suffer from a war they did not cause, and Russian power is not punished for its crimes, we call on the Nobel Committee to support efforts to isolate Russia and Belarus.” Foreign Minister Oleg Nikolenko on Facebook.
For him, the call would evoke a “growing sense of impunity” on the part of the Russian power.
Belarusian opposition leader-in-exile Svetlana Tikhanovkaia has called on the Nobel Foundation to back down. Belarus, which has been led with an iron fist by Alexander Lukashenko since 1994, is a close ally of Moscow.
“No compromise should be made with the values of Alfred Nobel. I call on the Foundation and the Nobel Committee not to invite representatives of the illegitimate Lukashenko regime to events and to demand the immediate release of 2022 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Alice Bialiatsky, as you believe on X (ex Twitter).
In Sweden, Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said he was “very surprised” by the calls.
“I wouldn’t have done it if I had to take care of the invitations to the award ceremony and know that it upsets Sweden and Ukraine,” he told AFP.
For the Nobel Foundation, “it is clear that the world is more and more divided into spheres and that the dialogue between divergent points of view is becoming less and less”, Vidar Helgesen, its director, declared in a press statement.
“To reverse this trend, we are broadening our call to celebrate and understand the Nobel Prize and the importance of free science, free culture, and free, peaceful societies.”
Several Swedish politicians, including leaders of the Green Party, center and left, said they would boycott the event because of the Russian ambassador’s invitation.
The ceremony takes place every year in Stockholm on December 10, the day when the winners of the prizes for medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and economics receive their prizes from the hands of King Carl XVI Gustav, followed by a gala dinner that brings together some stars. 1200 guests.
A separate ceremony is organized in Oslo on the same day for the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, to which all ambassadors serving in Norway are invited without exception.
“It is good that all the diplomatic representatives present in Oslo can hear the message that the Nobel laureate and the Nobel Committee bring, especially the representatives of tyrannical countries that oppress their people or wage war,” the foreign minister told AFP. Norwegian Nobel Committee.
Olaf Njolstad added: “Being there and hearing these messages is more uncomfortable for them than not coming to the party or being excluded.”
Last year, the ambassadors of Russia and Belarus avoided a ceremony in Oslo honoring Mr. Bialiatsky, as well as civil liberties organizations in Russia and Ukraine.