A famous 198-year-old Russian oak tree was banned from entering the European Tree of the Year competition because of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
In a political statement reflecting the ongoing wave of Russiaphobia, the organizers of the competition disqualified the Russian contender because of Putin’s military operation in Ukraine.
The tree which had been planted by novelist Ivan Turgenev, was disqualified by a panel in Brussels, with a statement citing the “unprecedented aggression against a neighbouring country”.
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The competition, founded in 2011, was meant to be a way to celebrate historic trees and develop bonds between nations, but organisers have found it impossible to remain separate from global politics. So just like others who are boycotting Russian products, they decided to take swift action.
Summit News reports: Officials made the announcement Tuesday, awarding the prestigious prize to a 400 year old oak tree in Poland.
The New York Times reported that the organizers of the contest singled out the tree in Poland as being a symbol of hope for refugees fleeing Ukraine.
The organisers also noted that the Russian entry to the contest, a 199 year old oak tree originally planted by Russian writer Ivan Turgenev, was removed because of the war in Ukraine.
The page featuring the tree has been greyed out, making it clear that the entry is no longer a part of the contest.
In a statement, The Tree of the Year organisers wrote “This move is not directed against ordinary Russian women and men. We appreciate all active citizens of the Russian Federation who strive for a free civil society and the protection of nature. However, we cannot stand idly by and watch the unprecedented aggression of the Russian leadership against a neighbouring country.”
“The exclusion of Russia from the competition is a step that must be understood in the context of international efforts to isolate Russia in order to stop the war,” the statement concluded.
This is on a par with Russian cats being banned from international competitions, and is yet another example of utterly moronic moral exhibitionism in the aftermath of the attack on Ukraine now manifesting itself in a very dangerous form of vitriolic Russophobia.