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Russian diplomat slams ‘shameful’ entry ban for Russia’s Eurovision contestant

March 24, 2:54 UTC+3 VIENNA
"A good chance to show the whole world an example of humanism and de-politicized attitude to culture was wasted," Alexander Lukashevich said
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VIENNA, March 24. /TASS/. Ukraine’s entry ban, issued for Russia’s contestant to the Eurovision 2017 song contest to be held in the Ukrainian capital, was a shameful decision, Russia’s OSCE envoy said.

"A decision by the Kiev authorities to deny entry to the Russian contestant of the Eurovision song contest, Yulia Samoilova, is sad and even shameful. A good chance to show the whole world an example of humanism and de-politicized attitude to culture was wasted," Alexander Lukashevich said.

The diplomat added that "humanism is not what the current Kiev government is about."

"Kiev’s style is to cut supplies of water, gas, electricity, commodities; to ban channels, broadcasts, movies books and shows of Russian celebrities; to put the so-called "household separatists" in SBU (Ukrainian security service) cells and secret prisons," he said.

Earlier, the Ukrainian security service SBU said Samoilova would not be allowed to enter the country’s territory for three years. The official reason for the ban is Samoilova took part in a concert in Crimea in 2015, thereby violating the Ukrainian government’s resolution all foreigners should get special permission from it before visiting the peninsula.

The European Broadcasting Union responded by expressing its disappointment over the decision and said it still hoped that a compromise is still possible.

Eurovision semifinals will be held in Kiev on May 9 and 11, the final is due on May 13. A total of 43 countries are to take part.

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