Nobel foundation reverses plans to invite Russia, Belarus, Iran to award event

The Nobel Foundation has reversed its earlier decision and is disinviting the ambassadors of Russia, Belarus and Iran to attend this year's Nobel Prize awards ceremony in the Swedish capital of Stockholm on December 10.

The foundation made the announcement on Saturday, reversing a decision made just two days earlier.

The foundation had said on Thursday that it would invite the ambassadors of the three countries. It noted that "the achievements recognized by the Nobel Prize require openness, exchange and dialogue between people and nations."

The three countries had not been invited to last year's awards ceremony.

But following Thursday's announcement, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and others in Sweden criticized the foundation for inviting Russia while its military invasion of Ukraine continues.

The increasing criticism effectively forced the foundation to reverse its earlier decision.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the foundation says, "We believe that it is important and right to reach out as widely as possible with the values and messages that the Nobel Prize stands for."

It continued, "We recognize the strong reactions in Sweden, which completely overshadowed this message."

The foundation says the ambassadors of all countries will be invited to the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony in the Norwegian capital, Oslo.