The Nobel Foundation announced Saturday that it would not invite the Russian ambassador to this year’s Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm after his invitation sparked outrage.
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“We have decided to repeat last year’s extraordinary measure of not inviting the ambassadors of Russia, Belarus and Iran to the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm,” the Nobel Foundation said in a press release.
Regarding Iran, the foundation’s decision was made due to the suppression of protests in the country.
The Swedish foundation announced on Thursday that it would return to its previous practice of inviting ambassadors from all countries represented in Sweden, sparking a wave of anger.
She explained Saturday that her original decision was based on the belief “that it is important and right to spread as widely as possible the values and messages that the Nobel Prize represents.” However, the strong reactions it provoked “completely overshadowed this message.”
Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko denounced a decision that had caused “an increased sense of impunity” among Russian authorities.
Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said Friday he disagreed with the foundation’s decision and said he understood “that it bothers many people in Sweden and Ukraine.”
Several prominent Swedish politicians, including the leaders of the Center, Green, Left and Liberal parties, had threatened to boycott the event if the Russian ambassador attended.
The ceremony takes place every year on December 10th in Stockholm, the day on which the winners of the prizes in medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and economics receive their prize from the hands of King Carl XVI. Gustaf, followed by a gala dinner bringing together some 1,200 guests.
A separate ceremony for the Nobel Peace Prize winner will take place in Oslo on the same day.
Last year, the Norwegian Nobel Institute invited all ambassadors present in Norway to the ceremony and plans to do so again this year.