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GENEVA, March 23. /TASS/. The European Broadcasting Union has invited Russia’s national television broadcaster Chanel 1 to arrange for a live video link-up with the Eurovision 2017 contest in Kiev to let Russia’s participant, wheelchair-bound Yulia Samoilova, take part in the event while staying in Russia, because she will have no chance to appear on the podium in person following Kiev’s refusal to let her into Ukraine.
"Taking into consideration that this ban might be upheld by the Ukrainian authorities, and in order to maintain the non-political nature of the Eurovision Song Contest, the EBU has been working hard to find a solution to this situation and has taken the unprecedented move to offer Channel One Russia the opportunity for Yulia to still participate in this year’s Contest by performing live in the 2nd Semi Final via satellite, the EBU said in the statement. "This is something that has never been done before in the Contest’s 60 year history but, in the spirit of Eurovision’s values of inclusivity, and this year’s theme of Celebrate Diversity, the decision has been taken to ensure that all 43 entrants are given the opportunity to participate."
Earlier, the Ukrainian security service SBU said Samoilova would not be allowed to enter the country’s territory for three years. The official reason for the ban is Samoilova took part in a concert in Crimea in 2015, thereby violating the Ukrainian government’s resolution all foreigners should get special permission from it before to visiting the peninsula.