This year’s Eurovision Song Contest host, Ukraine has just banned Russia’s act from the country.
Russia’s Eurovision entry, Julia Samoilova has been banned from appearing at the competition as it emerges that shehas performed in Crimea.
The former Russian X Factor singer had been due to perform her ballad “Flame Is Burning” at the competition in May, however, Ukraine’s security services, SBU, have determined that her visit to the territory would be “illegal”.
Ukraine law forbids entering Crimea in order to perform.
According to sources around 140 other Russian artists have been blacklisted by the SBU following the annexation of Crimea last year.
Russia and Ukraine have been in dispute since the annexation of Crimea and the fighting in east Ukraine.
The UK’s Foreign office updated its advice for travellers to the Ukraine for Eurovision saying that it advised against travelling to Donetsk oblast, Luhansk oblast to the east of the country and Crimea in the south. It also warned that the UK was not able to provide consular services to any part of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts and Crimea.
It tells travellers,
“Russian forces and pro-Russian groups have established full operational control in Crimea. Following an illegal referendum on 16 March 2014, Russia illegally annexed Crimea on 21 March 2014 and tensions remain high”.
The EBU has released a statement about the decision to ban Julia Samoilova saying,
“We have to respect the local laws of the host country, however we are deeply disappointed in this decision as we feel it goes against both the spirit of the Contest, and the notion of inclusivity that lies at the heart of its values.
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. “