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European broadcasters investigating options to ensure Russia’s participation in Eurovision

On Wednesday, Ukraine issued a three-year entry ban against Samoilova for her performance at a festival in Crimea

GENEVA, March 23. /TASS/. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), continues to investigate options to ensure Russian contestant Yulia Samoilova’s participation in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, EBU Senior Communications officer Dave Goodman told TASS.

Kiev earlier responded negatively to the suggestion to broadcast her song during the contest. When asked if there were any options that could provide Samoilova with an opportunity to participate, Goodman said that "we are continuing our dialogue with the Ukrainian authorities with the ambition to have all artists present to perform in host city, Kiev, which is, of course, our preferred option."

"However, in case the travel ban on Julia Samoylova is upheld, we have to investigate alternative options," he added.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Vyacheslav Kirilenko earlier wrote on Twitter that broadcasting Samoilova’s song during the Eurovision Song Contest would be against Ukraine’s law.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Channel One rejected the EBU’s proposal to arrange a satellite broadcast of Samoilova’s performance. "We believe the remote participation proposal to be strange and reject it. It is undoubtedly contrary to the very idea of this event," Channel One said in a statement.

On Wednesday, 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.

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.

The 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.