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Russian singer Yulia Samoilova to perform at 2018 Eurovision contest in Lisbon

Eurovision semifinals will be hosted by Lisbon’s Parque das Nacoes

MOSCOW, March 11. /TASS/. Wheelchair-bound singer Yulia Samoilova will represent Russia at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon with the song I Won’t Break!, Russia’s Channel One said on Sunday.

"This is a song about myself. The authors have managed to put to music my own thoughts and feelings," she said, presenting her new song. "It is not a tender ballade, it is a song of character."

Russia skipped last year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev as the Ukrainian Security Council (SBU) had issued a three-year travel ban on Russia’s contestant Yulia Samoilova, citing her performance in Crimea on June 27, 2015 as a reason. Following the ban, Russia’s Channel One cancelled the broadcast of the contest and nominated Samoilova to represent Russia at the 2018 contest in Lisbon, which won the right to host the 2018 Eurovision after Salvador Sobral of Portugal had won the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev.

Eurovision semifinals will be held in the Portuguese capital on May 8 and 10. Russia will take part in the second semifinal on May 10. The grand final will take place on May 12. The show will be hosted by Lisbon’s Parque das Nacoes.

Yulia, who will turn 29 on April 7, has been using a wheelchair since childhood. In 2013, she won second place in the Factor A television project. She took part in the opening ceremony of the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Russia’s Sochi with the song Together.

The Eurovision Song Contests have been held annually since 1956, and each country member of the European Broadcasting Union sends its representative. Traditionally, the country whose singer has won the previous contest, hosts the next one.