Ukraine Bans Russia's Pick for Eurovision Contest

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has made a decision to impose a three-year entry ban on Russian singer Yulia Samoilova, who has been selected to participate in the 2017 Eurovision Song.

Russian singer and composer Yuliya Samoilova has been barred from entering the country for the next three years, over a past performance in Russian-annexed Crimea.

Russia's participation in the Kiev contest in May is fraught with political tensions as the two ex-Soviet neighbours have been locked in a bitter feud since Moscow annexed Crimea in March 2014.

Ukraine, which won the right to stage the 62nd Eurovision event after Jamala's victory, has previously threatened to deny entry to certain Russian singers it deemed anti-Ukrainian.

Ukraine's government banned anyone from the country who enters Crimea except by way of its land border with Ukraine.

This was reported by SBU spokesperson Olena Hitlianska. "What they've done is a dirty act". "It's a pity", the press service of Channel One said.

"Three years ago, Russian armed forces started occupying Crimea", the foreign ministry said, adding: "With pointed barrels of guns, a "referendum" was illegally held and then, on 18 March, it was announced that Crimea had become part of the Russian Federation".

Ukraine expects about 12,000-14,000 spectators to attend the competition in May with millions more watching on television. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is monitoring the situation concerning the Ukrainian Security Service's decision to ban Russian Eurovision contestant Yulia Samoilova from entering the country, EBU Senior Communications Officer Dave Goodman told TASS on Wednesday.

"We will continue a dialogue with the Ukrainian authorities with the aim of ensuring that all artists can perform at the 62 Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv in May".

  • Leroy Wright