Eurovision 2017

#RUSSIA and #UKRAINE – The EBU comments on Yuliya Samoilova’s potential travel ban

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Yesterday we reported on the story that Russia’s Eurovision entrant Yuliya Samoilova could be denied entry into Ukraine for Eurovision as she had previously been to Crimea. Because Ukraine considers Crimea to be territory occupied by Russia, the government only allows travel there with a permit. As Yuliya did not have this, the Ukrainian government consider her to be in violation of the country’s laws.

Now the European Broadcasting Union have commented on the issue. Speaking at a recent press conference, Eurovision Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand said:

“We fully respect and understand the laws of Ukraine, but from the point of European Broadcasting Union, we have no objections to the Russian delegation and do not see any violations on their part. We want all countries to compete, but ultimately this is the decision of the Ukrainian government, and we will respect it in any case, “

In essence, this means that the EBU acknowledge that the decision is down to Ukraine. It also implies that should the SBU (Ukraine’s secret service) deem that Yuliya did perform at a gala concert in Crimea in June 2015 and deny her entry to Ukraine, the EBU won’t intervene.

Deputy Chairman of the contest’s Organizing Committee Vyacheslav Kyrylenko notes that “The situation requires additional study by the Ukrainian secret services.This process is now happening,”. He also added that the decision would be made “in accordance with the spirit of the “Eurovision” and Ukrainian legislation,”

Alternatively, Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Anton Gerashchenko proposed that instead of banning her from entering Ukraine, Yuliya would have to pay a fine for her transgression before coming to Eurovision. Gerashchenko argued that the singer “needs to bear responsibility for the violation of Ukrainian legislation,”

We at Eurovision Ireland will be following this story closely and update you as it happens.

Author: James Scanlan

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