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MOSCOW, July 16 /TASS/. Serbian film director Emir Kusturica has criticized Ukraine’s authorities for cancelling his performance in Kiev on July 28 and intention to deny him an entry visa over his support for the Russian foreign policy. He described it as a manifestation of propaganda and a war on dissent.
"This decision has become a new manifestation of propaganda campaign waged by the Kiev authorities. I am not at all surprised. They are positioning themselves as democrats but they are oppressing those who think different. Nevertheless, that will not prevent me from shooting films for Ukraine," Kusturica said in an interview aired by the Rossiya 24 television news channel on Thursday.
The Love Saves the World concert, in which Serbian film director Emir Kusturica was supposed to take part, has been cancelled in Kiev following numerous requests by Ukrainian public activists and cultural workers, the administration of the Kiev Palace of Sport, the concert’s venue, said on Thursday.
"Attention visitors! We would like to inform you that the Love Saves the World charitable concert scheduled for July 28 has been cancelled," the administration’s report said. Emir Kusturica and The No Smoking Orchestra were supposed to be the concert’s highlight.On July 15, last Wednesday, Ukraine’s Culture Ministry asked the country’s Interior Ministry and Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) to ban a concert in Kiev in which Serbian film director Emir Kusturica was to take part to avert possible mass riots.
"To avert the risks of mass violations of public order, protest actions and disruption of events to commemorate the 1,000 anniversary of the death of Great Prince Vladimir of Kiev on July 28, it would be expedient for Emir Kusturica to refrain from giving a concert in Kiev on that day," the Culture Ministry’s press service said on Wednesday.
The ministry said that it was impossible for Kusturica to perform in Kiev on July 28 because of his repeated support for the Russian policy in Ukraine and Crimea.
Emir Kusturica is a Yugoslav and Serbian film director whose films have won awards at major European film festivals. He is the holder of two Golden Palms in Cannes. Kusturica is also the heart and soul of a Serbian rock band called The No Smoking Orchestra.