GENEVA, April 5. /TASS/. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has no plans to move the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest from Ukraine to another country, EBU Senior Communications officer Dave Goodman told TASS on Wednesday.
When asked if the EBU was considering the opportunity to move the contest to Berlin or some other city in light of Kiev’s decision to ban Russian contestant Yulia Samoilova from entering the country, Goodman said that "we are concentrating on producing a spectacular Eurovision Song Contest with our member UA:PBC (Ukraine’s National Public Broadcasting Company) in Kiev in May which remains our top priority."
However, he made clear that the debate over Samoilova’s entry ban was not over yet. "We will have another communication in the coming days," he said.
On March 22, the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) issued a three-year entry ban against Samoilova, citing her performance at a festival dubbed "A World of Sports and Kindness" held in Crimea on June 27, 2015. Ukraine’s authorities say that by performing in Crimea, Samoilova violated the Ukrainian government’s regulation dated June 4, 2015, which stipulates that foreign citizens should receive a special permission in order to enter Crimea.
The European Broadcasting Union said that it was deeply disappointed in Kiev’s decision to ban Russian contestant from entering Ukraine.
EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre forwarded a letter to the Ukrainian prime minister saying that "should we not be able to find an agreeable solution to this matter, it will without doubt place the future participation of Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest under threat." The Supervisory Board of Ukraine’s National Public Broadcasting Company, in turn, said that the EBU should refrain from interfering in Kiev’s interior affairs and respect Ukraine’s sovereignty.
The 2017 Eurovision Song Contest semifinals will be held in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev on May 9 and 11 while the Grand Final will take place on May 13.