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Ukraine calls on Eurovision organizers to refrain from interfering in domestic affairs

April 04, 10:45 UTC+3 KIEV

Kiev comments on a letter by the European Broadcaster's head in which she said that the ban Kiev issued against Russian contestant would 'place participation of Ukraine in the contest under threat'

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KIEV, April 4. /TASS/. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) should refrain from interfering in Kiev’s interior affairs and respect Ukraine’s sovereignty, the Supervisory Board of Ukraine’s National Public Broadcasting Company said in a statement.

The statement was issued to comment on a letter by EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre in which she said that the entry ban Kiev had issued against Russian Eurovision contestant Yulia Samoilova would "place the future participation of Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest under threat."

According to the Supervisory Board, the demand to cancel the decision taken by Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) within its power and authority, as well as the proposal that the SBU should hold consultations with the EBU before making decisions, could be considered as "interference in Ukraine’s internal affairs which is beyond the EBU’s powers as well as the goals of the Eurovision Song Contest."

"We call on Ms. Ingrid Deltenre and the European Broadcasting Union to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and refrain from using the European Broadcasting Union as a tool to support some political manipulations, as well as from creating obstacles for conducting the contest this year and in the future by making such statements," the Supervisory Board added. Ukraine’s National Public Broadcasting Company also called upon the EBU to "refrain from threatening to ban Ukraine from the Eurovision Song Contest."

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

A number of Russian public figures and cultural workers said Moscow should file appeals against Ukraine’s decision with international institutions.

The European Broadcasting Union, in turn, said that it was deeply disappointed in Kiev’s decision to ban Russian contestant from entering Ukraine. The EBU suggested that Samoilova participate in the contest via satellite but Russia’s Channel One, responsible for choosing this year’s contestant, rejected the offer. Kiev also stood up against it saying that such a broadcast would violate the Ukrainian law.

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