Invitations to speak at the Club were made some weeks ago to both the Russian Ambassador, Alexey Pavlovsky, and the acting Ukrainian Ambassador (Chargé d`Affaires), Volodymyr Shalkivskyi. Mr Shalkivskyi delivered his National Press Club address on 10 March 2022.
The invitations were issued at a different stage in the conflict in Ukraine before allegations of war crimes and bombing of civilian targets and the Board now considers it inappropriate to continue with the invitation to the Russian Ambassador.
The Club stands by its principles of encouraging free speech and promoting a balanced national discussion of the big issues of the day and reserves the right to revisit this decision at a later date.
In addition, the National Press Club is a vigorous champion of media freedom and strongly condemns the media censorship in Russia. Under new laws in Russia both local and international journalists face charges of high treason and 15-20 year jail terms for reporting the facts. This situation should not be tolerated and has no place in a democratic society.