Eurovision bars Russian entry

The host nation for the Eurovision Song Contest, Ukraine, has barred the Russian contestant from attending the competition finals later this spring.

Julia Samoylova, was chosen to represent Russia with the song Flame is Burning, sang in Crimea in 2015 – a year after Russia siezed the territory from Ukraine. She is one of more than 100 artists blacklisted for similar behaviour by the Ukrainian authorities.

In a statement the Eurovision committee said today:

It has been confirmed to the EBU that the Ukrainian authorities have issued a travel ban on the Russian artist chosen for the Eurovision Song Contest, Julia Samoylova, as she has been judged to have contravened Ukrainian law by entering Crimea in order to perform. 

We have to respect the local laws of the host country, however we are deeply disappointed in this decision as we feel it goes against both the spirit of the Contest, and the notion of inclusivity that lies at the heart of its values. 

We will continue a dialogue with the Ukrainian authorities with the aim of ensuring that all artists can perform at the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv in May.