Ukraine will not take part at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019. The country did not manage to find an artist willing to take part in accordance with a set of additional rules, set up by broadcaster UA:PBC, who has confirmed the news on Wednesday afternoon.
Many of the rules are basic and apply to every country that takes part at Eurovision. However, one of the rules insists that artists are not allowed to perform (or have performed) in their neighbour country Russia. Something that results in issues for a lot of credible professional artists in the region.
Vidbir-winner Maruv decided not to sign the contract
Singer Maruv, who won preselection show Vidbir 2019, did not want to sign a contract with that set of rules, and decided not to take part in Tel Aviv. The acts that followed her in Vidbir, Freedom Jazz and Kazka, showed solidarity and also refused to represent Ukraine.
Suspension for Ukraine?
The deadline of pulling out of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 has passed. Therefore, Ukraine would normally have to pay a fine and could face suspension in the upcoming years as well.
In 2005, Lebanon withdrew from the contest after the deadline had passed. Broadcaster Télé-Liban received a fine and a three year ban from the contest. In 2012, EBU was slightly more lenient towards Armenia. After broadcaster ArmTV had stated they would not take part in the contest in Baku, EBU decided on a fine, yet allowed Armenia to return and take part in Malmö the next year.
The EBU, however, has released the following tweet, suggesting Ukraine can take part next year again:
It is with sadness that we can confirm that Ukraine’s broadcaster, @UAPBC, has informed the EBU that, following further discussions, they have made the difficult decision to withdraw from the Eurovision Song Contest 2019. We hope to see them again in 2020.https://t.co/bYOWWbSTZz
— Eurovision (@Eurovision) February 27, 2019