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Eurovision organizers set to find solution for Russia's contestant to perfom in Kiev

"Our preferred solution is that the Russian artist will perform in Kyiv and we continue to work hard to achieve this," European Broadcasting Union said
Yulia Samoilova Maria Antipina/TASS
Yulia Samoilova
© Maria Antipina/TASS

GENEVA, March 24. /TASS/. European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is set to find a solution so that the Russian wheelchair-bound singer Yulia Samoilova can compete at the Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev, EBU Senior Communications Officer Dave Goodman told TASS on Friday.

Commenting on Ukraine’s ban for the Russian singer and Russian Channel One’s refusal to broadcast her performance live via satellite from Moscow, Goodman said, "Our preferred solution is that the Russian artist will perform in Kyiv and we continue to work hard to achieve this."

"It is the EBU's wish that all artists competing in this year's Eurovision Song Contest can do so in the host city of Kyiv in accordance with the rules, and the tradition, of the competition," he said.

"We are in contact with the Ukrainian authorities to do everything in our power to allow this to happen," he added, saying that the proposal to Channel One "to exceptionally allow a performance via satellite is made as a secondary option, should it be necessary, to ensure that Russia along with the other 42 participating nations can stay in the competition and remains open."

Earlier in the day, an adviser to the Ukrainian Security Service’s (SBU) head, Yuri Tandit, said that the SBU would not reconsider its entry ban for Samoilova.

On Wednesday, the SBU barred Samoilova from entering Ukraine for a period of three years. The SBU claims that by performing in Crimea in the summer of 2015, Samoilova violated Ukrainian government’s resolution obliging foreigners to receive permits for visits to the Black Sea peninsula.

The EBU said in response it was disappointed with Ukrainian authorities’ decision but said it still hoped a compromise solution could be found. Later on, it made public a suggestion, in line with which Channel One could transmit Samoilova’s performance live via satellite from Moscow.

The state-run TV channel, which broadcasts the show in Russia, turned down the offer. Kiev followed suit, saying the performance broadcast via satellite link would violate Ukrainian law.

Ukraine will play host to the Eurovision song contest in May. Singers from 43 countries are due to compete in the glitzy show. Semifinals will be held in Kiev on May 9 and 11 and the Grand Final is scheduled for May 13.

Yulia Samoilova was born on 7 April 1989, in the city of Ukhta (the Republic of Komi). In 2013, she was second in Factor X competition. She also performed in the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Paralympic Games. Yulia has been in a wheelchair since childhood.