The decision to invite representatives from Russia and Iran to the awards ceremony drew criticism for the war in Ukraine and human rights abuses.
The Nobel Foundation has withdrawn its invitations to representatives from Russia, Belarus and Iran to attend this year’s Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm after the decision, announced a day earlier, “provoked strong reactions”.
Several Swedish lawmakers said Friday they would boycott this year’s event after the private foundation that administers the prestigious awards changed its position from last year and invited representatives from the three countries to attend.
“The decision by the Nobel Foundation to invite all ambassadors to the Nobel Prize award ceremony, in accordance with previous practice, has provoked strong reactions,” the foundation said on Saturday in a press release.
“The basis for the decision is that we believe that it is important and right to reach out as widely as possible with the values and messages that the Nobel Prize stands for. ”
Some of the protesting MPs cited Russia’s war against Ukraine and Iran’s crackdown on human rights as reasons for their boycott. Moscow was not invited last year because of its invasion of Ukraine.
Belarusian opposition activist Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya on Friday called on the Swedish Nobel Foundation and the Norwegian Nobel Committee not to invite representatives of the “illegitimate regime” of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to any events.
Lukashenko is accused of cracking down on opposition figures and critics after his controversial victory in the 2020 presidential election.
Last year, the Norwegian Nobel Institute invited all ambassadors to the Oslo Peace Prize ceremony it organized, and the foundation said it will do so again this year.
“As before, all ambassadors will be invited to the ceremony in Oslo,” it said.
The remaining Nobel prizes – in chemistry, economics, literature, medicine and physics – are awarded in Stockholm.
“Victory for Humanism”
Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko called the reversal a “victory for humanism”.
“We thank everyone who demanded the restoration of justice. We are convinced that a similar decision should be made regarding the Russian and Belarusian ambassadors to Oslo,” he said in a post on Facebook.
Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson also welcomed the new decision in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“The many and strong reactions show that the whole of Sweden unambiguously stand on Ukraine’s side against Russia’s appalling war of aggression,” Kristersson said” Kristersson said.
This year’s Nobel Prize winners will be announced in early October. The laureates are then invited to accept their awards at awards ceremonies on December 10, the anniversary of award founder Alfred Nobel’s death in 1896.