Nobel withdraws invitation to Russia, Belarus, Iran

The Nobel Foundation on Sept. 2 withdrew its invitation for representatives of Russia, Belarus and Iran to attend this year's Nobel Prize award ceremonies after the decision announced a day earlier "provoked strong reactions."

Several Swedish lawmakers said on Sept. 1 they would boycott this year's Nobel Prize award ceremonies in the Swedish capital, Stockholm, after the private foundation that administers the prestigious awards changed its position from a year earlier and invited representatives of the three countries to attend, saying it "promotes opportunities to convey the important messages of the Nobel Prize to everyone."

Some of the lawmakers cited Russia's war on Ukraine and the crackdown on human rights in Iran as reasons for their boycott. Belarusian opposition figure Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya on Sept. 1 called on the Swedish Nobel Foundation and the Norwegian Nobel Committee not to invite representatives of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko's "illegitimate regime to any events."

On Sept. 2, she welcomed the Nobel Foundation's decision. She told The Associated Press that it was "a clear sign of solidarity with the Belarusian and Ukrainian peoples."

"This is how you show your commitment to the principles and values of Nobel," Tsikhanouskaya said.

Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Oleh Nikolenko called the decision a "victory for humanism."

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, who said on Sept. 1 he wouldn't have allowed the three countries to participate in the award ceremonies, was also happy with the decision. He posted on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, that "the many and strong reactions show that the whole of Sweden unambiguously stand on Ukraine's side against Russia's...

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