Russia Won't Broadcast Eurovision Song Contest

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Channel One made the decision after attempts by organizers to ensure the Russian entrant's participation failed.

Russia's Channel One is refusing to broadcast this year's edition of the Eurovision Song Contest as there is no hope left that Russian entrant Yulia Samoilova could still take part.

"Channel One has received a letter from the European Broadcasting Union [EBU], saying that the EBU was unable to resolve the issue of Yulia Samoilova's participation in the Eurovision Song Contest, referring to a decision by Ukraine's security services," the network said in a statement sent to The Hollywood Reporter.

"Given the circumstances, Channel One doesn't believe that broadcasting the Eurovision Song Contest will be possible."

In March, Ukraine banned the 27-year-old, wheelchair-bound Samoilova from entering Ukraine because of her 2015 performance in Crimea, a peninsular region annexed by Russia from Ukraine.

The EBU has tried to salvage the situation, suggesting that either Samoilova take part via satellite, without entering Ukraine, or Russia replace its entrant. Both suggestions were rejected.

"Unfortunately, this means Russia will no longer be able to take part in this year's competition," said the EBU in a statement issued in the wake of Channel One's announcement. "We very much wanted all 43 countries to be able to participate and did all we could to achieve this."

"We strongly condemn the Ukrainian authorities' decision to impose a travel ban on Yulia Samoilova as we believe it thoroughly undermines the integrity and non-political nature of the Eurovision Song Contest and its mission to bring all nations together in friendly competition," added Frank Dieter Freiling, chairman of the Eurovision Song Contest reference group, the event’s steering committee.

 

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