According to an interview in the Swiss paper Blick, the outgoing Director General of the European Broadcasting Union has given the authorities in Ukraine an ultimatum. They must find a solution to let Russia take part in the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest, or Ukraine might get excluded from the contest.
Should Russia’s Julia Samoylova not be granted access to the host country, Ukraine might get expelled. This will however be decided after the contest, where Russia will then not be able to take part in. In a reaction to ESC Daily, the EBU sends us the following statement:
“We are working hard to find a solution that enables all 43 Eurovision contestants to perform in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. As is normal procedure, if it is found that any broadcaster has breached Contest rules, it will be discussed by the Contest’s steering committee, the ESC Reference Group, after the live event in May, where a decision will be made if further steps need to be taken.”.
EBU boss gives Ukraine an ultimatum
In an interview with the Swiss paper Blick, Deltenre speaks hard words: “This behavior of Ukraine is absolutely unacceptable.” The Director of the European Broadcasting Union in Geneva is currently negotiating with Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman and President Petro Poroshenko to find a “satisfactory solution”.
Only these two could cancel the entry ban for Julia, or make sure that it comes into force only after Julia’s appearance at the Eurovision Song Contest. “I deeply regret the fact that the ESC is being abused for political action,” says Ingrid Deltenre. “The Eurovison Song Contest is supposed to delight and bring together millions of people; it must not be used to incite them against each other.”
A different approach compared to Jon Ola Sand
If no solution is reached in the next few weeks, the top TV woman is already announcing sanctions against Ukraine: a temporary exclusion from the Eurovision Song Contest. This is a different tone of voice, than Jon Ola Sand, the Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest spoke last week. He stated that “the EBU needs to respect the laws of the host country, but that we are continuing our dialogue with the Ukrainian authorities with the ambition to have all artists present to perform in host city, Kyiv, which is, of course, our preferred option.”
Later the EBU offered Russia to take part through a satellite connection, which was refused by broadcaster Channel One the next day.