Belarus: ONT cannot take part in the Eurovision Song Contest 2010

During his recent visit to Belarus, Bjorn Erichsen, Director Eurovision TV, told local press that ONT, the broadcaster announced to be taking over the country's Eurovision Song Contest participation from BTRC, do not have the right to do so as they are not officially members of the EBU yet. ONT have applied for membership but their application will be discussed in December whereas country subscriptions for the 2010 contest must be submitted by mid November at the latest. Under the circumstances, the Belarussian call for songs by ONT seems invalid.

In July 2009 it was announced that ONT would be taking over the organisation of the Belarussian participation in the Eurovision Song Contest from BTRC. At the same time, a call for songs was launched in Belarus by the new broadcaster. According to the EBU rules, though, only broadcasters who are already EBU members can take part in the Eurovision Song Contest. The deadline for the subscriptions for the 2010 contest is the 15th November but ONT's application for EBU membership will not be discussed until December. According to Mr Erichsen, the EBU are still in the process of determining whether the broadcaster fulfills all the criteria for membership. reports that Bjorn Erichsen when asked whether ONT have the right to launch a call for songs for a Eurovision Song Contest preselection he stated: "At the moment, ONT do not have the right to organise any kind of selection or make any kind of preparations for the Eurovision Song Contest as they are not officially members of the EBU." According to the same source, Mr Erichsen also commented on the use of Eurovision logos by ONT saying that it is strictly prohibited and went on to point out that the broadcaster's chances of EBU membership might be jeopardised by such a breech of EBU rules.

Mr Erichsen continued: "If they become a member in December, then both broadcasters will have to decide between themselves which one will be organising the country's participation. "

Since ONT cannot possibly be subscribe for Belarus in the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 , the only feasible way for the country to take part is if BTRC decides to step in again. Stay tuned for more news on Belarus 2010 soon.



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