GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – In an interview he gave to Danmarks Radio (the 2014 host broadcaster), Eurovision General Supervisor Jan Ola Sand made a statement about the recent concerns on Russia.
It was confirmed that the Reference Group has sent a letter to the two Russian broadcasters (C1R and RTR) about the issue. Indeed, some EBU members, journalists and fans had expressed concerns about participating in future editions of the Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Russia because of the so called « anti-homosexual propaganda », that is to say the bunch of laws about « non-traditional sexual relations » that were recently voted by the Duma.
From Jan Ola Sand’s point of view this is completely undramatic, but in order to reassure the Eurovision world, a dialogue has recently started between the EBU and the two Russian broadcasters.
In the interview, Jan Ola Sand affirms: “We have been asked by several of our member states and by journalists and fans, whether the new laws could affect the Eurovision Song Contest. That is why we have been in dialogue with the two Russian TV companies that are members of the EBU”… ”There is no reason to believe that we cannot organise the Eurovision Song Contest in Russia”.
About the rumour that this debate started with a statement from a Swedish member of the Reference Group, a piece of news revealed by German magazine Stern, Jan Ola Sand informed that this could not be considered as an official position of SVT, since there has been no official confirmation by the Swedish broadcaster…
He concluded the interview reminding one of the fundamentals of the Eurovision Song Contest: “Every year there is a discussion about who will take part in the competition and it is naturally up to each individual broadcaster to decide”.
Nevertheless we can underline the fact that even if Jan Ola Sand used the word “dialogue”, no mention was made on the official reply from C1R or RTR.
Let’s bet that this interview may not be the conclusion of what we could easily call the “Eurovision Russiagate”