Stockselius to Ukraine next week

by Sietse Bakker 40 views

The election conflict in Ukraine also worries the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) when it comes to the organisation of the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest. Though, there are no signs the contest has to move to another country.

Svante Stockselius, Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest at the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), will travel to Ukraine next week to find out how the political situation conflicts with the preparations for the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest. He said that to tonight, while the tension in Ukraine's capital Kiev is rising.

After the final round of presidential elections this weekend, current Prime Minister of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych (54) claimed victory with a slight majority of the votes. Opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko (50), who lead a significant majority in the first exit polls, accuses the Prime Minister of mass election fraud, which has been confirmed by inspectors from the European Union. While Russian president Putin already congratulated Yanukovych, who he publically supports, the United States threatens with sanctions if the governement of Ukraine refuses to re-investigate the vote counting. Mass demonstrations in Kiev, Lviv and other cities, in favour of opposition candidate Yushchenko, caused a revolutionary climate.

Last year, several terror attacks in host city Istanbul concerned the EBU. After a close examination of the security plans and the level of threat, broadcaster TRT and the EBU saw no reason to find another location for the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest. So far, no consequences are connected to the organisation of the 2005 contest as a lot can happen in the six months until May 2005.

Ruslana publically supports the students in favour of opposition candidate Yushchenko. At this very moment Ruslana is talking to famous people and mass media from all over the world to give her comments on the situation in Ukraine. “I'm worried about the image of the country. I want my country to be democratic. I don't want all my numerous fans abroad to be disappointed in us. I am together with my people. I want us to let the truth prevail in a peaceful way. I believe that we can do it! That is why I'm taking part in the numerous manifestations”, Ruslana wrote on her website. I'm also sure that any aggression right now would be nobody's plan. Ukrainians aren't aggressive people (…) today we are one nation. You can feel it. There must be some truth in this life! Don't be afraid! You should act in the way that will allow you to respect yourself!”, the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest winner added, hoping that a revolution takes place without violence.

To be continued!

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