STOCKHOLM (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) banned entry to the country for three years for Yulia Samoilova, citing the alleged "violation by her of the Ukrainian legislation."
The Russian singer visited Crimea in 2015 with a concert without obtaining a permit from the Ukrainian authorities. In accordance with the country's law, Ukraine may ban entry for foreigners who had visited post-referendum Crimea without a permit from Kiev.
"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," the EBU statement said.
The European Broadcasting Union added that it was deeply disappointed by Ukraine’s decision, which "goes against both the spirit of the Contest, and the notion of inclusivity that lies at the heart of its values."
On March 12, Russia's Channel One announced that Samoilova, the winner of the internal competition, would represent Russia at the 2017 Eurovision contest in Kiev. Samoilova, who has been wheelchair-bound since childhood, will sing the song "Flame is Burning."
On Tuesday, the EBU stated that it "understands and respects the laws of Ukraine," adding that the decision on whether or not ban anyone from entering the country "should be made by the authorities."
Crimea rejoined Russia in 2014 after the referendum held on March 16, with almost 97 percent of the residents having voted for the reunification.
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.
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