MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) banned entry to the country for three years for Russian 2017 Eurovision participant Yulia Samoilova, citing the alleged "violation of the Ukrainian legislation." The singer visited Crimea in 2015 with a concert without 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.
"From the very beginning we have made it clear that we expect that all the participants qualified for the contest could take part [in the Eurovision]. If the decision to ban entry to the Russian candidate remains in force, the EBU will try to ensure that Russia could participate," Frank-Dieter Freiling told the German Tagesspiegel newspaper on Sunday.
The chairman of the group established by EBU to oversee the yearly preparation of the contest added that the Ukrainian authorities had not informed the organizers about their decision on the issue.
On Thursday, EBU suggested Russian Channel One to arrange a satellite broadcast of Samoilova's performance so that she could still take part in Eurovision despite the entry ban to Ukraine. However, the broadcaster rejected the proposal as contradicting "the very idea of the event, whose strict rule is live performance on the stage of Eurovision."