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Eurovision Organizers Threaten Ukraine Over Ban On Russian Entry


Russian singer Yulia Samoilova has been barred from entering the country because she violated Ukrainian law by performing in Crimea in 2015.

Ukraine could lose the right to participate in future renditions of the Eurovision Song Contest if it bars Russia's entry in this year's competition from entering Ukraine to participate, the head of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has said.

In a letter to Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroysman on March 31, EBU head Ingrid Deltenre noted that barring a performer from another country is an unprecedented action.

She added that "several" unspecified countries have said they would consider boycotting the competition in Ukraine if Kyiv insists on barring Russia's entry.

Russia selected singer Yulia Samoilova as its contestant earlier this month. But Ukraine said she had been barred from entering the country because she violated Ukrainian law by performing in Crimea in 2015.

Russia illegally annexed the Ukrainian region in 2014.

Russia slammed Kyiv's ban, saying Ukraine had "a regime infected with Russophobic paranoia."

On March 24, Russia 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 event, the final of which is set for May 13, 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.

With reporting by DW
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