Russia certainly knows how to generate hype! After rumours they were preparing to withdraw from this year’s Eurovision, last night they rather sensationally announced that Yuliya Samoilova will represent them in Kyiv this May…
… except will she?
Anyone following the news these last few years will know that Russia and Ukraine’s already terse relationship nosedived further following the annexation of the Crimea peninsular into Russia in 2014. The following year, Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned that anyone visiting Crimea without expressed permission from Kyiv – including European politicians – could consequently be BANNED from entering Ukraine.
Yuliya gave a concert in Crimea back in 2015. Although she is not on the list of 140 blacklisted Russian acts that the Ukrainian secret service SBU has barred from entering the country, her performance in Crimea may jeopardise her Eurovision participation.
Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for the Kremlin, denied that the selection of Yuliya was deliberate provocation. Similarly, a spokeswoman for SBU, Olena Gitlyanska, wrote on Facebook that the SBU would now “study the question and take a balanced decision on her entry into Ukraine”.
We at Eurovision Ireland will be following this story closely and update you as it happens.
Author: James Scanlan
Source: BBC.co.uk, newsweek
Image Source: Eurovision Ireland