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KIEV, March 22. /TASS/. Ukraine’s Intelligence agency, the SBU, should probe all the 2017 Eurovision contestants in order to find out if they had ever violated the country’s laws, member of the Verkhovna Rada (parliament), adviser to the Ukrainian interior minister Anton Gerashchenko said.
"We should investigate all contestants to find out if they had ever violated the law the way the Russian contestant did," he said.
According to Gerashchenko, discrimination is unacceptable while conducting the probes. "If we hold only Samoilova responsible, what about others? What kind of discrimination is it?" Gerashchenko claimed.
He confirmed that he had earlier emphasized the need to scrutinize all contestants, including Armenian singer Artsvik Harutyunyan, who, according to the Ukrainian authorities, might have visited Crimea. The adviser went on to say that there was currently no information on possible violations of the Ukrainian laws by other contestants.
As reported earlier, the Ukrainian intelligence service, the SBU, slapped a three-year entry ban on Russian Eurovision contestant Yulia 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 special permission to enter Crimea.
On March 12, it was announced that wheelchair-bound Yulia Samoilova will represent Russia at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest.
A total of 43 countries are expected to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest this year. Semifinals will be held in the Ukrainian capital on May 9 and 11 while the Grand Final will take place on May 13.
Yulia Samoilova was born on April 7, 1989, in the city of Ukhta (the Republic of Komi). In 2013, she came in second in the Factor A TV project. She also took part in the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Paralympic Games when she performed a song called Together. Yulia has been using a wheel chair since she was a child.