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Eurovision organizers keeping close eye on Kiev's ban against Russian handicapped singer

March 22, 2017, 17:16 UTC+3

The Ukrainian Security Service has issued a three-year entry ban for Russian Eurovision contestant Yulia Samoilova, citing her performance at a festival in Crimea

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GENEVA, March 22. /TASS/. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is monitoring the situation concerning the Ukrainian Security Service’s decision to ban Russian Eurovision contestant Yulia Samoilova from entering the country, EBU Senior Communications Officer Dave Goodman told TASS on Wednesday.

"The EBU understands and respects the laws of Ukraine, and this matter has to be handled by the authorities, who we have had a good dialogue with since June," he said. "We have had previous assurances from the Ukrainian authorities that, in the spirit of the event, all those who wish to attend the ESC and who pose no threat will be free to do so and their safety will be guaranteed." "Therefore, we fully expect that a solution can be found so that every delegation can come to Ukraine to participate. We are monitoring the situation and are waiting to hear from the authorities as to their final decision," Goodman added.

As reported earlier, the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) issued a three-year entry ban for 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 permissions in order to enter Crimea.

2017 Eurovision Song Contest

On March 12, it was announced that wheelchair-bound Yulia Samoilova had been chosen to 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 was 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.

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