The Nobel Foundation’s decision to invite Russian ambassadors to this year’s Nobel Prize award ceremonies triggered fierce criticism from Swedish and Ukrainian politicians.
The Nobel Foundation announced Thursday it would invite ambassadors from all countries that are diplomatically represented in Sweden and Norway, where award ceremonies are to be held in December. This includes Russia and Belarus, which last year were excluded following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Executive Director of the Nobel Foundation Vidar Helgesen said in a statement that this decision was made to counter a tendency in which “dialogue between those with differing views is being reduced.”
But the announcement sparked strong reactions in Sweden, with many politicians announcing they would boycott the event. Center Party leader 697557964255605094?s=20" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Muharrem Demirok, Left Party leader Nooshi Dadgostar and Green Party co-spokesperson Märta Stenevi all announced on X, formerly Twitter, they would not attend the ceremonies.
Johan Pehrson, leader of the Liberal Party, said he “will not sit and toast the Russian ambassador while Putin’s disgusting and bloody war of aggression continues in Ukraine.”
Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson reportedly said he was “greatly surprised” to see Russia invited and he would not have made the same decision.
Andrii Plakhotniuk, Ukraine’s ambassador to Sweden, also criticized the Nobel Foundation’s announcement, urging the foundation to reconsider their decision, while Oleg Nikolenko, a spokesman for Ukraine’s foreign ministry, said the decision will likely increase the Kremlin’s “sense of impunity and new crimes” and asked the Nobel Foundation to “support international efforts to isolate Russia and Belarus.”