Swedish MPs Announce Nobel Prize Boycott Over Russian Ambassador's Invitation
This year, envoys from Russia, Belarus, and Iran will be invited to the Nobel Prize ceremony, even though they were not invited last year due to the political situation. The announcement has sparked strong criticism and led to a group of Swedish party leaders boycotting the event, as reported by The Guardian.
Government representatives are considering the possibility of withdrawing from the event, and some opposition party leaders have cancelled their invitations.
In response to criticism over inviting Russian, Belarusian, and Iranian ambassadors to the Nobel festivities, Vidar Helgesen, the CEO of the Nobel Foundation, explained that there was a misunderstanding regarding the invitations.
"They are invited to the award ceremony, but not to the banquet," he told Aftonbladet.
He explained that last year, they decided to make an exception due to the EU and Sweden's boycott of these countries, but this year, they reached a different decision.
However, the leader of the Liberal Party, Carl Johan Georg Persson, stated that he "will not sit and toast to the Russian ambassador while Putin's repugnant and bloody aggression against Ukraine continues."
The leader of the Centre Party, Muharrem Demirok, said he would not attend the Nobel ceremony if the Russian ambassador is present.
"As long as Russia is at war with Ukraine, I cannot be present at the same event as their ambassador. I am happy to celebrate research and progress, but not under any circumstances," he wrote on Twitter.
Nooshi Dadgostar, leader of the Swedish Left Party, declared that she would not participate in the Nobel festivities with a representative of the Russian regime as long as bombs fall over Ukraine.
Former Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson reported that she did not receive an invitation to the ceremony, but she believes the Nobel Foundation should "seriously consider what it means to invite a representative of a regime engaged in a heinous and unlawful war in Ukraine, and one that also threatens Sweden."
Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said that the decision to invite Russia had saddened many people in both Sweden and Ukraine.
"I received the information last night, and I reacted quite strongly... The Nobel Foundation makes its own decisions. But I wouldn't have invited Russia if I were responsible for the award ceremony," he stated.
When asked whether the prime minister would attend the Nobel banquet, Kristersson asked for permission to address that question later.
Representatives of the Swedish royal family have reported that they received information about the Nobel Foundation's decision but have not provided any comments at this time.