Russian broadcaster Channel One has confirmed that the EBU failed to resolve the issues surrounding the ban of their artist Yulia Samoylova. Therefore Russia is not able to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 in Kiev.
Yulia Samoylova was chosen to represent Russia at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest but has been banned by the host country Ukraine. This is because she performed in Crimea in 2015 – the territory annexed by Russians in the previous year. The Ukrainian SBU security service says she’s banned from entering the country for three years due to her ‘illegal visit’.
EBU failed to find a solution for Russia
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organises the competition, said it was “deeply disappointed” but has to respect local laws. Organisers have offered the Russian entrant an opportunity to perform from Moscow via a satellite that will be beamed into the host city. However this plan was quickly rejected.
Another appeal to the authorities in Ukraine to let Yulia enter the country has not resolved the issue, thus making it impossible for Russia to take part in the contest. Earlier, the EBU mentioned possible sanctions against Ukraine if Russia is unable to participate.
The EBU issued a formal statement om the situation later on this Thursday. “The EBU formally offered two alternative proposals to Channel One in a bid to find a solution that would enable Russia to continue their participation in this years event. These proposals were to either take part via satellite or to change their chosen artist to one who could legally travel to Ukraine for the duration of the Contest. Sadly both proposals have been rejected by Channel One. And they have now announced they do not intend to broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. Unfortunately this means Russia will no longer be able to take part in this year’s competition. We very much wanted all 43 countries to be able to participate and did all we could to achieve this,” the EBU states.