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Nobel Foundation invites Russia and Belarus to award celebrations

by Artem Mamadzhanov September 1, 2023 1:55 AM 2 min read
Belarusian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ales Bialiatski is seen in the courtroom at the start of his hearing in Minsk on Jan. 5, 2023. (Photo by Vitaly Pivovarchik/BELTA/AFP via Getty Images)
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The Nobel Foundation announced on Aug. 31 that it will invite all diplomats represented in Sweden to  its Nobel Prize award ceremony, an expansion that includes representatives from Russia and Belarus.

“It is clear that the world is increasingly divided into spheres, where dialogue between those with differing views is being reduced,” said Vidar Helgesen, executive director of the Nobel Foundation.

This year's award ceremony and banquet will be held on Dec. 10.

Last year, the Nobel Foundation announced they would not invite representatives of Russia and Belarus to the Stockholm celebrations as a sign of solidarity with Ukraine.

In 2022, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Belarusian Ales Bialiatski, a pro-democracy activist recently sentenced to 10 years in prison by the Belarusian court.

While the Aug. 31 announcement did not specifically address Bialiatski's imprisonment or Russia's full-scale invastion of Ukraine, the Foundation justified its decision by saying that "we are living in an increasingly polarised world, characterised by denial of science, resistance to knowledge and threats to freedom of expression, democracy and human rights."

The Nobel Foundation's decision comes a month after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced it would ban Russia and Belarus from the 2024 Games in Paris.

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