Russia's spurned singer tapped as Eurovision 2018 contestant

by Wade Massey April 15, 2017, 5:40
Russia's spurned singer tapped as Eurovision 2018 contestant

"We have held talks on that with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) so they know that Yulia Samoilova will represent Russia", Ernst said when asked if Russia would participate in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest.

Several attempts were made by the EBU, European Broadcasting Union, to solve the situation so that Russian Federation would be able to take part, but all failed.

The move was in retaliation for the host's decision to ban Russia's contestant, Julia Samilova, after it emerged she had visited Crimea, annexed from Ukraine by Russian Federation in 2014, and performed there.

Ukraine's SBU security service subsequently said she would not be allowed to enter the host nation to perform following her "illegal" visit to the territory, which was annexed by Moscow in 2014.

Competition organisers attempted to mediate in the dispute by suggesting Samoylova could perform on the May 13 show in Kiev via satellite from Russian Federation.

The Kiev event organisers, the National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine, in turn slammed Russia's actions, accusing it of being more interested in undermining the event than in taking part.

"We very much wanted all 43 countries to be able to participate and did all we could to achieve this", Freiling said.

The song contest organisers offered the Russian entrant an opportunity to perform from Moscow via a satellite link that would be beamed into the host city, and also suggested that another artist could perform in her place.

In 2009, the EBU rejected Georgia's entry, called We Don't Wanna Put In.

Kyiv's decision was based on the artist's visit to Crimea in 2014 when the peninsula was annexed to Russian Federation.

"However, preparations continue apace", the organiser said.

Few rules have been bent, manipulated and outright broken quite like the Eurovision song contest's assertion that no "lyrics, speeches [or] gestures of a political or similar nature" can make their way into an entry. "Our top priority remains to produce a spectacular Eurovision".

Samoilova has been in a wheelchair since a bad reaction to a vaccine in childhood, according to the biography on her website.

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