Eurovision 2018

#UKRAINE – Could Eurovision 2018 participation be in doubt as a Flame still BURNS?

russia ukraine flags

It was the story that dominated Eurovision 2017: Yuliya Samoilova’s ban from entering Ukraine, that subsequently led to Russia’s withdrawal from the contest. After a 1 year absence, Russia are back and so is Yuliya as their contestant. And as the contest is going to be held in Portugal this year, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s no longer a problem… right?

There has been speculation that the same law that prohibited Yuliya from entering Ukraine could potentially scupper Ukraine’s chances of taking part in Eurovision this May. Last year, Vyacheslav Kyrylenko, former Minister of Labor and Social Policy and Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine tweeted the following after the EBU suggested Yuliya could perform her song remotely from Russia by satellite.

Flame is burning

Or in English: The transmission of Samoilova’s performance by Ukrainian TV channels is the same violation of Ukrainian laws as its entry into Ukraine. The EBU should take it into consideration.

So what does this mean? Well, when the EBU made this proposal about a satellite performance, Russia dismissed it as being unfair while Ukraine suggested (as Mr Kyrylenko did above) that even broadcasting Yuliya would be a violation of that same law. Theoretically, this would also mean that even with Eurovision being hosted in Portugal, Ukraine is still legally obliged not to broadcast any material featuring Yuliya or any other banned artist. And as Yuliya is representing Russia, there may well be trouble ahead.

In 2005, Lebanon were due to debut at the contest, but withdrew after being unable to guarantee broadcasting the contest in its entirety. This was because Lebanese law prohibits the broadcast of Israeli content on its television networks, and as Israel were singing in Kyiv, they could not legally broadcast the entire programme and EBU rules don’t allow for blocking individual performances. If Ukraine has a similar problem with not legally being allowed to show the entire 2018 contest, including Russia’s performance, then they may be disqualified or be forced to withdraw.

We stress that neither the Ukrainian broadcaster nor the EBU have made any comments at this time. We at Eurovision Ireland will be monitoring this story closely and update you should anything happen.

Author: James Scanlan

Source: Eurovision Ireland, Twitter

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