New East Digital Archive

Ukraine bars Russian Eurovision contestant

22 March 2017

Ukraine has banned Russia’s Eurovision entrant, Yulia Samoylova, from entering the country to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest in May.

According to the National Security Service, Ms Samoylova has been barred from the country for three years after making over an “illegal” visit to the annexed Crimean peninsula in 2015.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the organisation behind the contest, said it was “deeply disappointed” by this development.

“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 EBU said in a statement, adding that it would “continue a dialogue with the Ukrainian authorities with the aim of ensuring that all artists can perform” in Kiev.

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According to local media reports, the participation of Armenia’s chosen entrant is also in jeopardy over a recent visit to Crimea.

Source: BBC News