Nobel Foundation cancels Russian ambassador invite to prize ceremony

STOCKHOLM  -  The Nobel Foundation said Saturday it was revers­ing its decision to invite ambassadors from Russia and Belarus to this year’s Nobel award ceremony in Stockholm, after the move sparked anger.

In 2022, the Nobel Foundation, which organises the annual Nobel prize ceremony and banquet in Stockholm, decided not to invite the Russian and Belarusian ambassadors to the Stockholm award event because of the war in Ukraine.

They made the same decision regarding the Ira­nian envoy over the country’s crackdown on a wave of protests. 

The Swedish foundation however said Thursday it was returning to its previous practice of invit­ing ambassadors from all countries represented in Sweden, sparking a wave of angry reactions. The foundation said Saturday that the decision was based on its belief “that it is important and right to reach out as widely as possible with the values and messages that the Nobel Prize stands for.”

It noted however that the strong reactions “com­pletely overshadowed this message”. “We, there­fore, choose to repeat last year’s exception to regular practice -- that is, to not invite the ambas­sadors of Russia, Belarus and Iran to the Nobel Prize award ceremony in Stockholm,” the founda­tion said in a statement.

Last year, the Norwegian Nobel Institute still in­vited all ambassadors to the Peace Prize ceremo­ny it organises in Oslo, and the foundation said this would be the case again. “As before, all ambassadors will be invited to the ceremony in Oslo,” it noted.

The decision to once again invite the Russian and Belarusian representatives sparked ire in Sweden and abroad.

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