Ukraine can and should host next Eurovision Song Contest, UK's Johnson says

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives at RAF Brize Norton, following a surprise visit to meet with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv, Ukraine, to offer a major training operation he believes that could "change the equation" against the Russian invasion, in Oxfordshire, Britain June 18, 2022. Joe Giddens/Pool via REUTERS

LONDON, June 18 (Reuters) - Ukraine can and should host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Saturday, after the organisers said they were in talks to hold it in Britain instead due to the war.

While decades-long tradition dictates that the winner of the contest gets to host it the following year, organisers said the security guarantees required to hold the competition in Ukraine meant discussions would be held with the runner up, Britain.

"Of course I would love it to be in this country but the fact is they won and they deserve to have it and I believe they can have it and I believe that they should have it," Johnson told reporters on arrival back in Britain after a visit to Kyiv.

"I believe that Kyiv or any other safe Ukrainian city would be a fantastic place to have it," he added. "It is a year away, it is going to be fine by the time the Eurovision Song Contest comes round and I hope the Ukrainians get it."

The comments by organiser the European Broadcasting Union on Friday that it was in discussions with British broadcaster the BBC to host the next event was greeted with disappointment in Kyiv, which demanded further negotiations. read more

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan Editing by Mark Potter

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