Ukraine rejects Eurovision demand to allow Russian singer

Ukraine rejects Eurovision demand to allow Russian singer


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Ukraine has rejected calls from the organizers of the Eurovision Song Contest for Kiev to lift an entry ban on Russia’s entry in this year’s competition.

Ukraine could lose the right to participate in future renditions of the Eurovision Song Contest if it bars Russia’s entry in this year’s competition from entering Ukraine to participate, the head of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has said.

“It is unprecedented and unacceptable to demand such extraordinary decisions from Ukraine for the sake of Russia,” deputy prime minister Vyacheslav Kyrylenko said.

In a letter to Hroysman on March 31, EBU head Ingrid Deltenre warned that “several” unspecified countries have said they would consider boycotting the competition in Ukraine if Kiev insists on barring Russia’s entry.

She also warned that Ukraine’s public broadcaster UAPBC “might be excluded from future events.”

Russia selected singer Yulia Samoilova as its contestant earlier this month. But Ukraine says she is barred from entering the country because she violated Ukrainian law by performing in Crimea in 2015. Russia illegally annexed the Ukrainian peninsula in 2014.

Russia slammed Kiev’s ban, saying Ukraine has “a regime infected with Russophobic paranoia.”

On March 24, Russia rejected a compromise offered by the EBU under which Samoilova would be allowed to compete via satellite link.

Ukraine won the right to host the Eurovision contest, the final of which is set for May 13, by winning last year with its entry, a song by Crimean Tatar performer Jamala about the 1944 deportation of Crimean Tatars by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

The Eurovision semi-finals will be held in Kiev on May 9 and 11, with the final will be on May 13.
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