Russian channel refuses remote Eurovision participation

Russia's entry for this year's Eurovision has been barred by hosting nation Ukraine. Source: AP

Russia's Channel One on Thursday refused the offer by Eurovision to have Russian singer Yuliya Samoilova participate remotely after Ukraine barred her from entering the country to take part in this year's song contest.

"We find the offer of remote participation odd and refuse it, for it is going absolutely against the very essence of the event," the official Russian broadcaster said after Eurovision suggested she could participate via satellite.

It said in an emailed statement that "one of the (contest) rules... reads that the song should be performed live on the stage."

The state channel, which selected Samoilova as Russia's contestant, claimed the rules also oblige Ukraine to provide all participants with entry visas, and that Kiev's entry ban had violated those rules.

"We believe that the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) shouldn't invent new rules for the Russian entrant in 2017 and is capable to hold the contest in accordance with its own order," the channel said.

Eurovision fans ready for another spectacle (file)
Eurovision fans ready for another spectacle (file)
Rolf Klatt for SBS

Earlier the competition's Geneva-based organiser EBU said it was taking an "unprecedented move" to offer Samoilova to participate live "via satellite" which has "never been done before."

Ukraine, which is hosting the hugely popular song contest, imposed on Wednesday a three-year entry ban on Samoilova, 27, over illegally entering Moscow-annexed Crimea to perform at a concert in 2015.

Russia said it hoped Kiev would reconsider its decision.

Eurovision Politics

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Source AFP

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