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MOSCOW, April 14. /TASS/. Russia has cancelled the traditional Eurovision pre-party due to the position of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) which failed to ensure Russian contestant Yulia Samoilova’s right to participate in the contest, the pre-party’s organizer Dmitry Melnikov told TASS.
Russia’s Channel One earlier decided to cancel the broadcast of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in light of the travel ban issued by the Ukrainian authorities against the Russian contestant. Samoilova will represent Russia at the 2018 contest, Russia’s Channel One Director Konstantin Ernst told TASS.
"This year, the European Broadcasting Union acted like a coward preferring to deprive the Russian and the European audiences (which makes around 200 million people) of the opportunity to see the Russian contestant, it failed to advocate its own rules. Under these circumstances, Channel One made the only right decision, we support it and thus cancel all the official events related to the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest," Melnikov said. He added that the events included not only the pre-party but also various press conferences, social media giveaways and some other events aimed at promoting the contest in Russia.
The pre-party’s organizer also said that it had been one of the three biggest pre-Eurovision parties, alongside the London and Amsterdam ones. It was cancelled for the first time in seven years.
The pre-party was scheduled to be held in Moscow on April 21. Contestants from Bulgaria, Greece, Moldova, Israel, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Switzerland and Italy were expected to participate.
Melnikov added that they all had expressed their regret over the situation. "Unlike the EBU, they all supported us," he said.