RUSSIA – The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is deeply disappointed in Kiev’s decision to ban Russian Eurovision contestant Yulia Samoilova from entering Ukraine, the union said in a statement published on the Eurovision website.
“We have to respect the local laws of the host country, however we are deeply disappointed in this decision as we feel it goes against both the spirit of the Contest, and the notion of inclusivity that lies at the heart of its values,” the statement reads.
EBU Senior Communications Officer Dave Goodman told TASS earlier that the union expected “that a solution can be found so that every delegation can come to Ukraine to participate.” “We have had previous assurances from the Ukrainian authorities that, in the spirit of the event, all those who wish to attend the ESC and who pose no threat will be free to do so and their safety will be guaranteed,” he added.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Ukrainian Security Council (SBU) issued a three-year entry ban against Samoilova, citing her 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.
Ukraine’s Intelligence agency, the SBU, should probe all the 2017 Eurovision contestants in order to find out if they had ever violated the country’s laws, member of the Verkhovna Rada (parliament), adviser to the Ukrainian interior minister Anton Gerashchenko said.
“We should investigate all contestants to find out if they had ever violated the law the way the Russian contestant did,” he said.
According to Gerashchenko, discrimination is unacceptable while conducting the probes. “If we hold only Samoilova responsible, what about others? What kind of discrimination is it?” Gerashchenko claimed.
He confirmed that he had earlier emphasized the need to scrutinize all contestants, including Armenian singer Artsvik Harutyunyan, who, according to the Ukrainian authorities, might have visited Crimea. The adviser went on to say that there was currently no information on possible violations of the Ukrainian laws by other contestants.
Singer Yulia Samoilova will represent Russia at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2018, if she does not get into this. This was reported by TASS in the press service of the First Channel.
“In the event that Ukraine does not allow Julia Samoilova to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest, next year, regardless of the venue of the competition, Russia will be represented by Yulia Samoilova,” the press service said.
This information was also confirmed by TASS in VGTRK, which will decide on the representative of Russia at the contest next year.