Culture secretary

UK Culture Secretary calls for Russian participation to be banned at events

By Emily Wallin.

UK Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has called for a halt to Russian participation in all UK events.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Dorries said Russia would be banned from attending or participating in sporting events and called on event organizers to block Russian involvement and cancel performances.

She also called for the cancellation of the UNESCO World Heritage Conference due to be held in Kazan, Russia in July.

It comes as the Farnborough International Airshow in the UK announced that Russian participation would be suspended from the event in July.

Dorries said: “Culture is the third front in Ukraine’s war. In sports, arts and entertainment, we ostracize Putin on the world stage. Putin is now suffering from a sporting and cultural Siberia of his own making, and that will cause real pain for the Russian leader.

“Putin needs the congratulations of these world events to cover up his illegitimacy and the hideous acts he is committing in Ukraine. The Russian despot tries desperately to hide the grim scale of his invasion from his own people. This is why I strongly support and continue to encourage the kind of emotional displays of solidarity that we have seen at sporting events over the past week, including the Carabao Cup final and the Six Nations.

She added: “Every time an international organization or figure speaks out publicly against what they are doing in Ukraine, they break down Putin’s wall of lies. “So I thank and applaud all those – in this country and abroad – who have done so, and I continue to press for organizations to exile Putin’s Russia from their ranks.

“That is why I have asked UNESCO to ban Russia from hosting its annual World Heritage Conference in June. It is absolutely inconceivable that this event could take place in Putin’s country, as he fires missiles at innocent civilians in neighboring Ukraine. If this goes ahead, the UK will not be present.

In a statement, Farnborough International said: “Following ongoing events in Eastern Europe, we have taken the decision to suspend Russian participation in the Farnborough International Airshow 2022, which will take place in July.

“Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine and everyone affected by the current situation. We continue to hope for a quick and peaceful resolution.

Russian companies usually have a strong presence at the air show, showcasing new commercial airliners and helicopters.

Several event industry associations, including the Events Industry Council (EIC) and Meeting Professionals International (MPI), have also condemned the war in Ukraine and issued statements on the current situation.

Ukrainian-born president of exhibition organizer Euroindex Kyiv and UFI board member Valerii Pekar also appealed for international support to help stop the war in Ukraine.

The IMEX Group also this week suspended Russian state enterprises from participating in IMEX Frankfurt, which runs from May 31 to June 2.