00:39 GMT26 January 2021
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    The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) proposed to Russia's Channel One to arrange a satellite broadcast of the performance of Russian 2017 Eurovision participant Yulia Samoilova, who was banned from entering Ukraine, so that she could still take part in the Eurovision Song Contest, according to a statement published on the contest's website.

    STOCKHOLM (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) banned Samoilova from visiting Ukraine for three years.

    "The EBU has been working hard to find a solution to this situation and has taken the unprecedented move to offer Channel One Russia the opportunity for Julia to still participate in this year’s Contest by performing live in the 2nd Semi Final via satellite," the statement said.

    In the event that the Russian contestant qualifies for the final of the competition, the same solution has been proposed, the EBU added.

    The European Broadcasting Union noted that the current situation is unusual and unique for the 60-year-old competition, but in keeping with this year's theme of Celebrating Diversity, it was decided that all 43 contestants should be able to participate.

    "We are continuing our dialogue with the Ukrainian authorities with the ambition to have all artists present to perform in host city, Kyiv, which is, of course, our preferred option," Eurovision Song Contest Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand was quoted as saying in the statement.

    On March 12, Russia announced that 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 Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) had launched an investigation into the case despite the fact that Crimea has been a Russian region since 2014.

    The 2017 Eurovision contest will be held in Kiev from May 9 until May 13.

    Crimea rejoined Russia in March 2014 following the national referendum, with almost 97 percent of the residents having voted for the reunification. Ukraine still considers Crimea as an occupied territory.


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