The news almost took everyone by surprise a few minutes ago despite weeks of several rumors: Russian representative at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Ukraine, Julia Samoylova, has just been barred from entering the country in the course of three years. Thus, she will not be able to compete at the contest in May.
The main issue for the Ukrainian Security Service was Samoylova had performed in Crimea two years, which was at that time, more than a year ahead after Russia had annexed the peninsula— being this what it has now deemed the singer ineligible to enter Ukraine and compete in the Eurovision after Government considered the singer had broken the law.
Problems began after Ukraine won the contest last year in Stockholm when media started sharing the controversial news of Russia’s possible withdrawal at this year’s edition in Kiev but even though everything seemed to be address rightfully in its usual way, Julia’s Channel One choice turned the hopes more than grey for their participation when the details above were known.
On March 15th, Executive Supervisor of the ESC Jon Ola Sand stated that the Ukrainian law would be taking into consideration and nobody would interfere on their decision whatever it could be.
This leaves the door open for the Russian delegation at Channel One to select another entrant for May or either give up on attending the appointment. Julia was meant to sing «Flame Is Burning» after the country was drawn to perform at the second semi-final on May 11th.
Media are also reporting that Armenia’s Artsvik shall also be investigated by the authorities in Ukraine and could be following Julia’s footsteps.
EBU went on stating the following a few minutes ago: «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. We will continue a dialogue with the Ukrainian authorities with the aim of ensuring that all artists can perform at the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv in May«.
What do you think about this? Will EBU do something against the situation? Should politics come into play when talking about music?
Tell us your opinion and stay tuned about further details on Russia’s participation at this year’s contest, which are expected in due course!