The Nobel Foundation has withdrawn its invitation to Russia for this year’s Nobel Prize ceremony due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Initially, the Foundation had planned to invite Russia, following its past practices, but the decision triggered significant backlash in Sweden.
In a press release issued on September 2, the Foundation cited “strong reactions” as the reason for replicating last year’s exception to their standard protocol. Consequently, the ambassadors of Russia, Belarus, and Iran will not be attending the Nobel Prize award ceremony scheduled to take place in Stockholm.
The Foundation clarified its decision, explaining that the aim had been to uphold the values and messages associated with the Nobel Prize by inviting all ambassadors, as was customary. However, the controversy surrounding the decision prompted a change in course.
As an illustrative example, the Foundation pointed to the awarding of the Peace Prize last year to human rights activists from Russia and Belarus, along with Ukrainians involved in documenting Russian war crimes. This choice conveyed a clear political message but was overshadowed by the strong reactions in Sweden.
In response to the situation, the Nobel Foundation has chosen to replicate the previous year’s departure from standard practice, which means that the ambassadors of Russia, Belarus, and Iran will not be part of the Nobel Prize award ceremony in Stockholm.
The Nobel laureates for this year are expected to be announced between October 2 and 9, with five of the six winners receiving their awards in Stockholm, following a confidential nomination process. It is important to note that the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo, and the Foundation has affirmed that, as before, all ambassadors will be invited to this ceremony.
The decision by the Nobel Foundation was met with approval from Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, who expressed his support on social media. Oleg Nikolenko, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s foreign ministry, described the decision as a “restoration of justice.”