RUSSIA – The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is deeply disappointed in Kiev’s decision to ban Russian Eurovision contestant Yulia Samoilova from entering Ukraine, the union said in a statement published on the Eurovision website.
“We have to respect the local laws of the host country, however we are deeply disappointed in this decision as we feel it goes against both the spirit of the Contest, and the notion of inclusivity that lies at the heart of its values,” the statement reads.
EBU Senior Communications Officer Dave Goodman told TASS earlier that the union expected “that a solution can be found so that every delegation can come to Ukraine to participate.” “We have had previous assurances from the Ukrainian authorities that, in the spirit of the event, all those who wish to attend the ESC and who pose no threat will be free to do so and their safety will be guaranteed,” he added.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Ukrainian Security Council (SBU) issued a three-year entry ban against Samoilova, citing her performance at a festival dubbed “A World of Sports and Kindness” held in Crimea on June 27, 2015. Ukraine’s authorities say that by performing in Crimea, Samoilova violated the Ukrainian government’s regulation dated June 4, 2015, which stipulates that foreign citizens should receive special permissions in order to enter Crimea.
Ukraine’s Intelligence agency, the SBU, should probe all the 2017 Eurovision contestants in order to find out if they had ever violated the country’s laws, member of the Verkhovna Rada (parliament), adviser to the Ukrainian interior minister Anton Gerashchenko said.
“We should investigate all contestants to find out if they had ever violated the law the way the Russian contestant did,” he said.
According to Gerashchenko, discrimination is unacceptable while conducting the probes. “If we hold only Samoilova responsible, what about others? What kind of discrimination is it?” Gerashchenko claimed.
He confirmed that he had earlier emphasized the need to scrutinize all contestants, including Armenian singer Artsvik Harutyunyan, who, according to the Ukrainian authorities, might have visited Crimea. The adviser went on to say that there was currently no information on possible violations of the Ukrainian laws by other contestants.
Singer Yulia Samoilova will represent Russia at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2018, if she does not get into this. This was reported by TASS in the press service of the First Channel.
“In the event that Ukraine does not allow Julia Samoilova to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest, next year, regardless of the venue of the competition, Russia will be represented by Yulia Samoilova,” the press service said.
This information was also confirmed by TASS in VGTRK, which will decide on the representative of Russia at the contest next year.
As an artist, as a producer, as a person that has supported and promoted Eurovision more than anyone else I am shocked with the decision of Ukraine's security service. Eurovision Song Contest, started after the 2nd world war,as an international competition that would bring countries and their citizens together through music. The Russian national broadcaster, despite the fear of a provocation, took the decision to send Yulia Samoylova to perform for our country, respecting not only the format of the competition but also the main theme of Ukrainian organizers which for this year is "celebrating diversity". Unfortunately Ukrainian secret services didn't do the same. What remains to be seen is if EBU, will protect the main idea of this competition. After all it is their responsibility. If not I strongly believe that Russia should withdraw from the competition till the moment that all responsible people with resign and the format will again find the reason it was created. ====================================== Как артист, продюсер и тот, кто поддерживал и продвигал конкурс «Евровидение» в России, я шокирован решением Службы безопасности Украины больше, чем кто-либо еще. Конкурс «Евровидение» был задуман после II Мировой войны, как международное соревнование, которое объединяет музыкой жителей разных стран. Российское телевидение, несмотря на все угрозы провокаций, о которых говорилось в прессе, уважая правила и украинских организаторов, учитывая девиз конкурса в этом году — «Да здравствует многообразие!», все-таки приняло решение отправить участника от России, которым была выбрана Юлия Самойлова. К несчастью, Служба безопасности Украины решила по-другому. Как организаторы конкурса теперь будут следовать собственному девизу и поддерживать разнообразие, отстаивать основную идею конкурса? Это проблема, которая стоит перед Европейским вещательным союзом. Если они не смогут ее решить, я твердо убежден, что Россия должна отказаться от участия в конкурсе, пока все ответственные за это решение лица не объявят о собственной профессиональной непригодности, не подадут в отставку, а конкурс «Евровидение» не начнет вновь следовать цели, для которой и был создан.
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PHILIP KIRKOROV STATEMENT – As an artist, as a producer, as a person that has supported and promoted Eurovision more than anyone else I am shocked with the decision of Ukraine’s security service. Eurovision Song Contest, started after the 2nd world war,as an international competition that would bring countries and their citizens together through music. The Russian national broadcaster, despite the fear of a provocation, took the decision to send Yulia Samoylova to perform for our country, respecting not only the format of the competition but also the main theme of Ukrainian organizers which for this year is “celebrating diversity”. Unfortunately Ukrainian secret services didn’t do the same. What remains to be seen is if EBU, will protect the main idea of this competition. After all it is their responsibility. If not I strongly believe that Russia should withdraw from the competition till the moment that all responsible people with resign and the format will again find the reason it was created.
RUSSIA – Russian singer Yulia Samoilova who was banned from the entry to Ukraine, does not loose hope to perform at the Eurovision Song Contest and believes that the situation may change.
“It’s amusing to observe all this from the side, because I don’t really understand what kind of threat do they see in me, in such a small girl. But at large, I’m not upset. For some reason I think the situation will change”, Samoilova said commenting the issue for Channel One.
RUSSIA – The decision by the SBU, Ukraine’s intelligence agency, to ban Russia’s wheelchair-bound Eurovision contestant Yulia Samoilova from entering Ukraine is a cynical and inhuman act, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin told TASS.
“This is yet another openly cynical and inhuman act by the authorities in Kiev,” he commented.
Earlier on Wednesday spokeswoman for Kiev’s intelligence agency, Yelena Gitlyanskaya, said Yulia Samoilova would not be allowed to visit Ukraine for three years.
EDITORIAL – Throughout the history of the Eurovision Song Contest, politics had a big say in the way the event was organised and taking place. Here are some of the examples with politics deeply involved in the Eurovision Song Contest.
When it comes to Eurovision, one thing that has become as predictable as the ludicrous outfits and high kitsch performances is controversy. From tactical voting to political scandals, this contest has had it all.
In 1978, Jordan refused to broadcast the Israeli entry and viewers were instead shown pictures of flowers. When Israel then won, Jordanian broadcasters cut the transmission and its media announced the following day that runners-up Belgium had come first. Lebanon attempted the same trick in 2005 when Greece won, but were forced to withdraw for a breach of contest rules.
When Israeli transsexual Dana International was chosen to represent the country in 1998, religious groups protested and parliament called for a replacement. But in a bizarre twist, she then won, resulting in thousands of Israelis taking to the streets in celebration.
It has since been claimed, in a Spanish documentary, that dictator General Franco rigged the 1968 Eurovision to boost Spain’s flagging tourism. British act Cliff Richard, whose entry Congratulations came second, is still bitter.
Israel’s 1973 Eurovision entrant had to sing while wearing a bulletproof vest, after Palestinian militants had massacred Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics the previous September.
Georgia’s 2009 entry was banned for violating the Eurovision ban on songs with overtly political content. It was called ‘We Don’t Wanna Put In’ and was about their recent war with Russia, whose Prime Minister was Vladimir Putin.
Austria boycotted the contest in 1969 in protest that it was being held in Spain. Turkey were forced to do the same thing in 1979 under pressure from Arab states who objected to a predominantly Muslim country taking part in a contest which was that year being held in Israel
Following Turkey’s 1974 invasion of Cyprus, Greece withdrew its 1975 entry in protest over Turkey’s inclusion. In 1976, Turkish TV then refused to broadcast the Greek performance.
The most controversial political gesture occurred in 2000 when Israel’s entrants ended by revealing Syrian flags and calling for peace. It emerged that two of the group were journalists who wrote about cultural affairs for the newspaper Ma’ariv
In 2012 Armenia forced to withdraw as there were no clear safety precautions whether the Armenian entrant will be properly allowed in the country due to the rivalry over NGK.
In 2004 though Turkey, which doesn’t recognise Cyprus as a state and therefore the Greek Cypriot passports allowed the Cypriot participant and delegation warmly welcoming them. A year ago, in a good will gesture Cyprus government allowed the northern Cyprus viewers to participate in the Eurovision televising ultimately attributing the first ever points to Turkey which actually brought them the trophy.
Don’t forget that in 2016 the winner song was about the Tatar deportation as part of a personal story of the singer’s family. Not until the end of the contest international media though, mentioned that Tatars were Nazi allies!