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Russia’s Eurovision contestant may be banned from entering Ukraine for 3 years

March 22, 2017, 14:29 UTC+3 KIEV

"All are equal before the law. Any concessions or exceptions may offend people as this will be discrimination", Ukraine’s Security Service chief of staff said

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Yulia Samoilova

Yulia Samoilova

© Maria Antipina/TASS

KIEV, March 22. /TASS/. Ukraine’s Security Service has drawn up documents on banning entry to the country to Yulia Samoilova, who was chosen to represent Russia at the Eurovision-2017 song contest in Ukraine, SBU’s chief of staff Alexander Tkachuk said.

"The documents to ban entry for three years for Samoilova have been prepared," Tkachuk said, adding that the decision will be announced soon.

The SBU understands the possible consequences of either ban or permission for Samoilova, a wheelchair-bound singer, to visit the country. The permission could result in a strong protest of Ukraine’s radicals, and the ban could spark Russia’s outrage, he explained.

"As (SBU chief) Vasily Gritsak said all are equal before the law. Any concessions or exceptions may offend people as this will be discrimination," he said.

On March 12, it was announced that Samoilova will represent Russia at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Ukraine’s capital Kiev on May 9-13.

Ukraine’s SBU said earlier that Samoilova performed at a festival dubbed "A World of Sports and Kindness" held in Russia’s Crimea on June 27, 2015 and thus violated the Ukrainian government’s regulation which stipulates that foreign citizens should receive a special permission in order to enter Crimea. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin said that choosing Samoilova to represent Russia at the contest was a provocation.

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