Eurovision song contest officials have strongly condemned Armenia’s nominee after she raised the flag of the self-declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic during a semifinal performance in Stockholm.
While waiting to receive her score, 29 year-old Iveta Mukuchyan waved the red, blue and orange flag at television cameras.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organizes the event, on Wednesday called Mukuchyan’s actions a “serious breach” of its rules, which include a ban on political messages.
"We are acutely aware of the tense situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, and the ongoing tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan," it said in a statement.
The EBU faced controversy earlier this year when a list of banned flags, including that of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, was accidentally leaked.
“What Armenia wants is just peace,” Mukuchyan told reporters after the incident. “I put up the flag because I want people to concentrate on that. I just want peace in this world.”
Both Mukuchyan and the Azerbaijani nominee got through to the grand final, which takes place this weekend.
SOURCE: commonspace.eu and agencies
PHOTO: Iveta Mukuchyan, photo courtesy of asbarez.com
"Armenia will focus on the expansion of economic cooperation in the BSEC region, and will promote the agenda through existing mechanisms in the upcoming six months", Foreign Minister Nalbandian told the organisation's Ministerial Council at its meeting in Kiev.