SWITZERLAND – Next week, the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) Reference Group may consider imposing sanctions on Ukraine and Russia for breaching contest rules, Senior Communications officer of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) Dave Goodman told TASS on Friday. There are though some preliminary information about it.
When asked if sanctions were included in the ESC meeting’s agenda, Goodman said that “the ESC Reference Group meets next week to discuss this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. As is normal procedure, if it is found that any broadcaster has breached Contest rules, it will be discussed by the Contest’s steering committee, the ESC Reference Group, where a decision will be made if further steps need to be taken,” he added.
The 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, involving 42 countries, took place in Ukraine’s capital of Kiev on May 9-13. However, Russian contestant Yulia Samoilova could not participate as the Ukrainian Security Council (SBU) had issued a three-year travel ban against her, citing her performance in Crimea on June 27, 2015. Following the ban, Russia’s Channel One cancelled the broadcast of the contest.
On May 4, Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group Chairman Frank-Dieter Freiling said that sanctions could be introduced against Ukraine and Russia for breaching contest rules. According to him, Kiev should have ensured the participation of all the entrants but violated this obligation by banning Samoilova to enter Ukraine, while the Russian delegation failed to attend various compulsory meetings held early in the year.
According to the reference group’s chairman, some measures will definitely be taken but it is yet to be decided whether it will be a fine or a three-year participation ban.