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GENEVA, April 14. /TASS/. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) does not rule out the possibility of suspending Russia from participation in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, EBU Senior Communications officer Dave Goodman told TASS on Friday.
When asked if Russia could be suspended from the 2018 contest following Channel One’s decision to cancel the broadcast of the 2017 event, Goodman said that "right now the EBU’s focus is on this year’s contest." "Any decision on actions that may or may not be taken around this situation will only be taken after the event itself," he added.
Russia’s Channel One earlier announced that it would not broadcast the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in light of the entry ban issued by the Ukrainian authorities against the Russian entrant.
On March 12, Channel One announced that wheelchair-bound singer Yulia Samoilova had been chosen to represent Russia at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest.
On March 22, the Ukrainian Security Council (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.