In her home country, she is a superstar. In Ukraine, she is unwelcome. The Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) banned Yulia Samoylova from entering Ukraine for three-years after she illegally entered Crimea through Russia. The chief of the EBU has commented on the controversy today.
EBU chief, Ingrid Deltenre (seen above), is in negotations with the Ukrainian Prime Minister, Volodymyr Hrojsman, and President, Petro Poroshenko. Since only these two people could reverse the decision to ban Yulia from entering Ukraine, or make sure that it only comes into force after Eurovision, they are vital to this controversy. Despite these negotations, Deltenre describes Ukraine’s behaviour as “absolutely unacceptable”. She says:
“I deeply regret that Ukraine is abusing the ESC for political reasons. The Eurovision Song Contest should delight and bring together millions of people. Thus, broadcasters should not use it to incite them against each other. The behaviour of Ukraine is absolutely unacceptable.”
Other potential solutions
One suggested solution was to have Yulia perform her song, ‘Flame is Burning’, via satellite. But this would be a first for the Eurovision Song Contest, as the rules usually state that all participants must sing their song live on stage in the host country. However, the Ukrainian broadcaster turned down this suggestion, stating that Yulia’s appearance on Ukrainian television would go against Ukrainian laws under the ban.
Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Kremlin, said about the ban:
“It is a blow to the image of the Eurovision Song Contest.”
On the other hand, some Eurovision fans have suggested that Russia selected Yulia to put pressure on Ukraine or to cut down on potential booing. Still, other fans suggest that Ukraine is being unfair and unnecessarily bringing politics into the contest.
Will Ukraine be banned from Eurovision?
If a solution isn’t made in the next few weeks, Deltenre suggests that she may create sanctions against Ukraine. This would mean exclusion from the Eurovision Song Contest. Thus, this puts a lot of pressure on Ukraine to create a solution that every party is happy with. However, if they are unable to do this, the EBU may remove Ukraine from the contest.
What do you think of the controversy? Are Ukraine right to ban Yulia? Should Ukraine be removed from the contest? Leave a comment and let us know!