Friday, March 1, 2024

Sweden does not want Putin’s ambassador. Norway invites him. And the Nobel becomes a coincidence

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In Sweden no, in Norway yes. The Nobel Prize ceremony sparks endless controversy, and even a diplomatic crisis looms in the background. The reason for the dispute is the cancellation of the invitation to the event from the ambassadors of Russia, Belarus and Iran. At least regarding the Nobel Prizes to be awarded in Stockholm, because Oslo, which awards the most prestigious and symbolic prize, for peace, has decided to continue on its own path, welcoming everyone and unleashing Ukrainian anger.

But let’s go in order. Last year, diplomatic envoys from Russia and Belarus were prevented from attending celebrations and banquets in Stockholm due to the war in Ukraine. The Tehran ambassador was also excluded, due to the dangerous situation in Iran after the fierce crackdown on protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, which occurred due to the wearing of the mandatory Islamic hijab poorly. Russia, Belarus and Iran were initially invited by Sweden to attend the 2023 Nobel Prize ceremony (December 10), but the decision has drawn strong criticism in recent days, from King Carl Gustaf to Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and even several parliamentarians, who threatened Boycotting the prestigious international award ceremony. “As far as I’m concerned, I won’t invite Russia. “In a context aimed at détente, it makes no sense to involve people with blood on their hands,” the Prime Minister told Scandinavian newspapers. The Nobel Foundation had other ideas yesterday, canceling invitations. CEO Vidar Helgesen justified the change of course by explaining that he had never imagined « “The participation of the three ambassadors could raise a lot of controversy. In any case, it was certainly not our intention to give political value to the invitations.” As mentioned earlier, Norway does not seem to want to distinguish between good and evil, taking advantage of the fact that it is specifically a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. “For more than 70 years we have invited all ambassadors working in Norway, without exception,” Oslo Committee Chairman Olaf Njolstad writes in an email to local newspapers. “We have taken note of the decision of the Swedish Nobel Foundation, but we will not change our regulations,” he said, adding that he wants all countries to participate in the peace messages associated with the ceremony. “This applies in particular to representatives of authoritarian regimes that oppress their own people or declare war on other countries,” Njölstad comments. For its part, Ukraine, which thanked Sweden for this step, criticized Oslo. “Unfortunately, we are witnessing the defeat of humanity – comments Oleh Nikolenko, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kiev – we ask Norway to restore justice.” Russia speaks of “politicization and anti-Russian sentiments.” Which affected all segments of Swedish society.” While in Stockholm, Iranian Ambassador Masoumifar diplomatically announced that “in those days I will be on vacation.”

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Ike Walton
Ike Walton
"Infuriatingly humble analyst. Bacon maven. Proud food specialist. Certified reader. Avid writer. Zombie advocate. Incurable problem solver."
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