The Nobel Foundation cancels the invitation of Russia, Belarus and Iran to attend its annual awards

Pedestrians and visitors stand in front of the Nobel Prize Museum on Stortorget in Stockholm’s Old Town, Sweden, July 15, 2023. REUTERS/Tom Little Obtaining licensing rights

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – The Nobel Foundation said on Saturday it would not invite the ambassadors of Russia, Belarus and Iran to the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm this year, reversing an earlier decision after widespread criticism.

Last year, the institution excluded ambassadors from Russia and its ally Belarus due to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The foundation said on Thursday that it would invite them, and the Iranian ambassador, to attend this year’s Nobel Prize ceremony in December, commenting that it seeks to include even those who do not share the values ​​of the Nobel Prize.

This announcement prompted the leaders of several Swedish political parties to say that they would boycott the celebrations.

“We are aware of the strong reactions in Sweden,” the foundation said in a statement on Saturday.

“We are therefore choosing to repeat last year’s exception to standard practice – namely not to invite the ambassadors of Russia, Belarus and Iran to the Nobel Prize award ceremony in Stockholm.”

Prize winners are announced in early October, and five of the six Nobel Prizes are awarded in Stockholm each year after a nomination process that remains secret for the next 50 years. The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo, where separate ceremonies are held.

Reporting by Simon Johnson, Editing by Frances Kerry

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