MOSCOW, April 13. /TASS/. Russia’s Channel One has decided to cancel the broadcast of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in light of the entry ban issued by the Ukrainian authorities against Russian contestant Yulia Samoilova, the channel’s press service said in a statement.
"Channel One does not consider it possible to broadcast the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest," the statement reads.
According to the press service, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has failed to solve the issue concerning Samoilova’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest.
"We believe Ukraine’s refusal to be groundless, it seems to be aimed at politicizing the contest, while during its 62-year history, the Eurovision Song Contest’s goal has remained to unite people," the statement adds.
At the same time, Channel One said that it was "not ready to consider the possibility of replacing Yulia Samoilova with another contestant."
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.
The European Broadcasting Union said that it was deeply disappointed in Kiev’s decision to ban Russian contestant from entering Ukraine.
EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre forwarded a letter to the Ukrainian prime minister saying that "should we not be able to find an agreeable solution to this matter, it will without doubt place the future participation of Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest under threat." The Supervisory Board of Ukraine’s National Public Broadcasting Company, in turn, said that the EBU should refrain from interfering in Kiev’s interior affairs and respect Ukraine’s sovereignty.
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.