Ukraine: Minister of Culture Ievhen Nyschuk
Ukrainian Minister of Culture Ievhen Nyschuk
KYIV 2017

Russian artists banned from competing in Eurovision 2017

Ukraine has a blacklist containing 10 Russian singers and actors, whose work is banned from TV, radio and cinemas in Ukraine. They are all a "threat to national security". What if Russia decides to send one of these blacklisted artists to Eurovision 2017 in Kyiv?

The Ministry of Culture in Ukraine has a blacklist with artists supporting Russia's annexation of Crimea, defined as "threat to national security". The blacklist contains 10 artists who are not allowed entrance in Ukraine, and the artists' work are banned from Ukrainian TV, radio and cinemas.

During the press conference where the Eurovision 2017 host city was announced, a Ukrainian journalist asked about the possibility of admitting some of the blacklisted Russian artists access to Ukraine. The Ukrainian minister of culture Ievhen Nyschuk answered that, those individuals who fall under sanctions of the Security Service of the country, are denied entrance to Ukraine:

If Russia chooses such a performer – it would be a deliberate provocation. In Russia there are many artists who understand that peace is the most important thing, that you can not speak the language of aggression and belittle some nations, especially neighbours, and it is necessary to speak in a professional way – through music and singing. There can be no compromises – for example, Iosif Kobzon, if he is selected, will not be allowed to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest in Ukraine.Ievhen Nyschuk, Ukrainian minister of culture

EBU: Constructive dialogue

From EBU the issue is met with a constructive and non-confrontational approach. The executive supervisor of Eurovision Song Contest Jon Ola Sand says:

We're aware of these issues and we have been and will be in a constructive dialogue with the authorities to ensure that all delegates and artists can come and stay in Ukraine.Jon Ola Sand, Executive supervisor of Eurovision Song Contest

Blacklisted artists

The names of the artists that are currently blacklisted from entering Ukraine are:

  • Mikhail Boyarskiy
  • Yulia Chicherina
  • Oleg Gazmanov
  • Iosif Kobzon
  • Lev Leschenko
  • Grigoriy Leps
  • Stas Piekha
  • Sergey Penkin
  • Nikolay Rastorguev (LUBE)
  • Aleksandr Rozenbaum
  • Valeria Rerfilova

It is unlikely that any of the blacklisted artists will be chosen for Eurovision Song Contest 2017, unless Russia deliberately wants to challenge the blacklist. Some of the blacklisted artists have suggested that Russia should withdraw from Eurovision 2017.

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