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Misty Severi, Breaking News Reporter


NextImg:Nobel Prize foundation rescinds invitations to Russia, Iran, and Belarus after backlash

The foundation behind the Nobel Peace Prize rescinded their invitations to the December ceremony for ambassadors from Russia, Belarus, and Iran after facing backlash over their initial decision to include the countries.

The Nobel Foundation announced Saturday that it would rescind the invitations after Swedish officials, including Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, condemned the move. Other representatives of Sweden’s major political parties announced they would boycott the event if the countries attended.

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“We recognise the strong reactions in Sweden,” the foundation said in a statement on Saturday. “We, therefore, choose to repeat last year’s exception to regular practice – that is, to not invite the ambassadors of Russia, Belarus and Iran to the Nobel Prize award ceremony in Stockholm.”

The foundation initially said the ceremony “promotes opportunities to convey the important messages of the Nobel Prize to everyone,” regardless of whether the politics are agreeable to Sweden. But critics warned that inviting Russia would embolden the country and its government amid its war with Ukraine.

Belarus and Iran have also been blacklisted from the event for their ties to Russia. Belarus is a strong ally of Russia, and the country said it supports the war on Ukraine, even offering up its territory as a launchpad for attacks. Iran has supplied drones to the former Soviet country to help restock its military arsenal.

"I welcome the new decision of the board of the Nobel Foundation regarding the Nobel Prize award ceremony in Stockholm," Kristersson posted to X, the social media platform 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."

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Nobel prizes are awarded in December of each year, with five of the six awards for 2023 taking place in a ceremony on Dec. 10, in Stockholm, Sweden. The final award, the Nobel Peace Prize, is awarded in Oslo, Norway.

Dozens of European politicians have penned an open letter to the Nobel Foundation, recommending the peace prize be awarded to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the wake of the Russian war. However, winners will not be announced until October.