Yesterday the Ukrainian Security Service decided to ban the Russian singer Yulia Samoylova from entering Ukraine for three years – and therefore also for Eurovision Song Contest 2017 in May.
Now the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), has found an alternative solution to include Russia in Eurovision 2017, despite Yulia's ban from entering Ukraine.
EBU suggests that the Russian entry for Eurovision 2017 can be performed live, remotely via satellite, so that the Russian singer Yulia Samoylova and her song "Flame is Burning" can still be a part of the contest.
Is this the right solution? Give your comments below
Statement from EBU:
Taking into consideration that this ban might be upheld by the Ukrainian authorities, and in order to maintain the non-political nature of the Eurovision Song Contest, the EBU has been working hard to find a solution to this situation and has taken the unprecedented move to offer Channel One Russia the opportunity for Julia to still participate in this year's Contest by performing live in the 2nd Semi Final via satellite. Should the Russian entry qualify for the Grand Final the same solution would apply. This is something that has never been done before in the Contest's 60 year history but, in the spirit of Eurovision's values of inclusivity, and this year's theme of Celebrate Diversity, the decision has been taken to ensure that all 43 entrants are given the opportunity to participate.
Eurovision Song Contest Executive Supervisor, Jon Ola Sand said: "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. It is imperative that the Eurovision Song Contest remains free from politics and as such, due to the circumstances surrounding Julia's travel ban, we have felt it important to propose a solution that transcends such issues. We have offered Channel One Russia the opportunity for Julia to perform live via satellite as it is the EBU's intention that every broadcaster that has chosen to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest does so, as has been the case for all previous events in the contest's history."
Frank-Dieter Freiling, Chairman of the Reference Group, the governing body of the Eurovision Song Contest, expressed his hope though, that the political leadership of Ukraine will not implement the travel ban and find a solution in line with the contest's slogan, Celebrate Diversity.
Ukraine: EBU's solution is not legal
Vyacheslav Kyrylenko is the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, and also Deputy Chairman of the Organizing Committee of Eurovision 2017.
He now rejects the proposal from EBU, to have Yulia Samoylova participating via satellite, claiming that any broadcast of a person considered persona non grata is illegal in Ukraine: