Russian Legislator Calls for Boycotting Eurovision Song Contest
Vitaly Milonov sees the contest as a threat to Russian cultural values.
Hard line Russian legislator Vitaly Milonov has called for boycotting the Eurovision Song Contest. Last year's Eurovision victory by cross-dresser Conchita Wurst triggered angry comments from legislators and officials in Russia.
Milonov has sent an address to culture minister Vladimir Medinsky, urging him to consider boycotting Eurovison, the Russian news agency TASS reported.
"Participation of Russian artists in the contest would signify rejection of spiritual and ideological purification of the country," Milonov was quoted as saying by TASS.
"Our country has reached a level where it can define a direction of cultural development for itself and its closest allies," he went on to say.
According to Milonov, Russia might host an alternative Eurasian song contest. A small contest advertised as "an alternative Eurovision" was already held last year in Russia but attracted little interest.
Earlier this week, the legislator compared participation of Russian artists in Eurovision with treason.
"For the sake of some singers' vanity, we basically have to kiss a boot that is now kicking Ukraine's South East," he was quoted as saying by the Russian News Service.
Last year, Milonov was outraged by Wurst's Eurovision victory and called for banning the artist from touring Russia even though Wurst showed no interest in performing in Russia. His sentiment was shared by other Russian legislators and officials who said that Wurst's win symbolized Europe's "decadent" values.
Milonov is also known for his strong homophobic stance.