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    Moscow to Boycott Eurovision If Ukraine Bans Entry for Russian Contestant

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    Russia will boycott the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 in Kiev in case the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) bans the entry to the country for Russian participant Yulia Samoilova, Russian lawmaker Oleg Morozov told Sputnik Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, SBU head Col. Gen. Vasyl Hrytsak said that the service had prepared a document prohibiting the Russian contestant from entering Ukraine because she had performed in Crimea before without Kiev's permission.

    "We would not like this decision to be carried out, it is too absurd. But if it is taken, Russia will boycott the contest, they leave us no choice," Morozov said.

    The Russian lawmaker stressed that Moscow would not change the participant because of the SBU's "insane" decision and assumed that it might be only a "political game."

    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.

    On March 12, Russian Channel One TV announced that Yulia Samoilova, the winner of the internal competition, will represent Russia at the 2017 Eurovision contest in Kiev. Samoilova, who has been wheelchair-bound since childhood, will sing the song "Flame Is Burning."

    The Russian singer visited Crimea in 2015 with a concert without obtaining a permit from the Ukrainian authorities. The SBU had launched an investigation into the case. After the examination, the Ukrainian authorities will make a decision on allowing Samoilova to enter the country.

    In accordance with the country's law, Ukraine may ban entry for foreigners who had visited post-referendum Crimea without obtaining a permit from Kiev.

    Crimean peninsula seceded from Ukraine and reunified with Russia following the March 2014 referendum. Ukraine considers Crimea as an occupied territory.

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    Yulia Samoilova, Russia, Ukraine
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