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Ukraine’s top diplomat says there will be no concessions for Russian singer at Eurovision

March 31, 19:04 UTC+3 BRUSSELS

Eurovision broadcaster earlier warned Kiev that banning Russian singer would damage Ukraine's reputation

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© EPA/SERGEY DOLZHENKO

BRUSSELS, March 31. /TASS/. Despite possible boycotting of the Eurovision Song Contest by some of its participants, Ukraine will make no concessions as for the entry ban for the Russian contestant, Yulia Samoilova, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin said on Friday.

"The answer is simple. Concessions are impossible as the law applies to everyone," he said at a news conference after a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine commission.

On March 22, the Ukrainian Security Council (SBU) issued a three-year entry ban for 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 obliges foreign citizens to receive a special permission in order to enter Crimea.

Some Russian politicians and people of culture have come out with an initiative to challenge Ukraine’s decision with international courts.

Meanwhile, European Broadcasting Union (EBU) Director General Ingrid Deltenre said in a letter to Ukrainian Prime Minister Vladimir Groisman that Kiev’s decision to Samoilova from entering Ukraine will have a very big negative impact on Ukraine’s international reputation.

According to the EBU director general, "the current situation is causing anger amongst our Members - European Broadcasters across Europe - and we have received communication from a number of them criticizing the decision and considering to withdraw from the event." Deltenre pointed out that until now, no country had ever banned anyone from taking part in the contest. "The EBU would not like a precedent to be set in 2017," she stressed.

The 2017 Eurovision Song Contest semifinals will be held in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev on May 9 and 11 while the Grand Final will take place on May 13.

Notably, other groups that have performed in Crimea give concerts in Kiev.

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