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Eurovision Organizer Must Decide Whether to Hold Contest in Ukraine - Senator

© AFP 2021 / JONATHAN NACKSTRANDSupporters wave flags ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 Grand Final in Copenhagen, Denmark, on May 10, 2014
Supporters wave flags ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 Grand Final in Copenhagen, Denmark, on May 10, 2014 - Sputnik International
Russian senator Frants Klintsevich said on Saturday that the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) should give a "clear answer" to the question of whether the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Kiev, if Russian songstress Yulia Samoilova is banned from entering Ukraine.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) must determine its position whether to hold the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in Ukraine if the country does not allow the Russian singer to take part in the contest, first deputy chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security Frants Klintsevich told Sputnik.

“Ultimately, there must be a clear answer to the question whether the Eurovision will be held in Ukraine if [Russian contestant] Yulia Samoilova is not allowed to take part in it,” Klintsevich said.

He pointed out that Ukraine had made everything it could to politicize the Eurovision.

“Today there are no signs of progress concerning participation of Russian contestant Yulia Samoilova,” Klintsevich added.

On March 22, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) imposed a three-year entry ban  ban on Samoilova, citing the singer's alleged "violation of the Ukrainian legislation." Samoilova visited Crimea in 2015 to perform at a concert without first obtaining a permit from Ukraine. In accordance with the country's law, Ukraine may ban entry for foreigners, who had visited post-referendum Crimea without a permit from Kiev.

Singer Yulia Samoilova, Russia's Eurovision 2017 contestant, and her husband, Alexei Taran, at Sheremetyevo Airport - Sputnik International
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On Friday, the European Broadcasting Union published a letter of its Director General Ingrid Deltenre to Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman warning that a number of European countries were considering withdrawal from the Eurovision contest after Kiev decided to impose an entry ban on the Russian singer. Earlier this week the Swiss Blick media outlet issued an interview with Deltenre, which included information indicating that EBU may temporary ban Ukraine from participation in the contest.

Ukraine won the right to host the Eurovision contest this year after the song "1944," performed by Ukrainian singer Jamala, ended up winning the 2016 contest. The 2017 contest is scheduled to take place in Kiev on May 9-13.

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