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Ukraine Faces 'Substantial Fine' Over Russia Eurovision Row, Organizers Say


Russia selected singer Yulia Samoilova as its contestant in this year's Eurovision contest, but Ukraine barred her from coming to Kyiv because she violated national law by performing in Crimea. (file photo)

Ukraine's national broadcaster is facing a "substantial fine" after Russia's contestant in May's Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv was barred from entering the country, organizers say.

The run-up to the competition was marred by Moscow's decision to boycott the annual event.

"As a result of this, attention was drawn away from the competition and the brand reputation of the Eurovision Song Contest was endangered," the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said on June 29.

"Therefore the contest's steering committee ... has recommended that UA:PBC should receive a substantial fine, in line with the rules of the competition," it added, without saying how much the broadcaster would have to pay.

UA:PBC Director Zurab Alasania said the fine was 200,000 euros ($228,100) and that the broadcaster would appeal the decision.

Russia selected singer Yulia Samoilova as its contestant in this year's Eurovision contest, but Ukraine barred her from coming to Kyiv because she violated national law by performing in Crimea in 2015. Russia illegally annexed the Ukrainian peninsula in 2014.

Russia later rejected a compromise offered by the EBU under which Samoilova would be allowed to compete via satellite link.

Ukraine won the right to host the contest by winning last year with its entry, a song by Crimean Tatar performer Jamala about the 1944 deportation of Crimean Tatars by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa
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