RUSSIA – The Kremlin expects that Russian singer Yulia Samoilova will have a chance to participate in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest set to be held in Ukraine’s capital of Kiev in May, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. While commenting on media reports on the Kiev authorities planning to ban Samoilova from entering Ukraine, Peskov said that “Ukraine has not announced any official decisions yet.” “We are keeping an eye on this situation. It is an international contest that Ukraine is going to host,” he added.
When asked if Russia could boycott the Eurovision Song Contest in case Samoilova was banned from entering Ukraine, Peskov said that “this is not for the Kremlin to decide.” “Our contestant has been chosen so we expect that she will have a chance to represent our country at this international contest,” the Kremlin spokesman said. He went on saying that in general, questions concerning the Eurovision Song Contest should be forwarded to the Russian organizers, that is, Channel One. “If we understand it right, it is not possible to change a contestant who has already been chosen,” the Russian presidential spokesman concluded.
As reported earlier, the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) came up with a document saying that Russia’s Eurovision contestant could be banned from entering Ukraine. In this connection, the SBU cited Samoilova’s performance at a festival dubbed “A World of Sports and Kindness” held in Crimea on June 27, 2015. Ukraine’s authorities say that by performing in Crimea, Samoilova violated the Ukrainian government’s regulation dated June 4, 2015, which stipulates that foreign citizens should receive special permissions in order to enter Crimea.
On March 12, it was announced that wheelchair-bound Yulia Samoilova will represent Russia at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, she will perform a song Flame Is Burning. A total of 43 countries will participate in the Eurovision Song Contest this year. Semifinals will be held in the Ukrainian capital on May 9 and 11 while the Grand Final will take place on May 13.
Yulia Samoilova was born on April 7, 1989, in the city of Ukhta (the Republic of Komi). In 2013, she was second in the Factor A TV project. She also took part in the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Paralympic Games when she performed a song called Together. Yulia has been using a wheel chair since she was a child.