“I am not upset” — Russia’s Julia Samoylova speaks about Ukraine’s ban as network tees her up for Eurovision 2018

On Wednesday afternoon Ukraine’s authorities banned her from entering the country for three years for singing in Crimea in 2015.

But a few hours later Russia’s Julia Samoylova remained upbeat and hopeful, saying that she expects the situation to change quickly and significantly.

“It is very funny to look at all this, because I do not understand what they saw in me — such a small girl,” she told Russia’s First Channel.

“They saw some kind of threat. I am not actually upset. I continue to practice. I think somehow that everything is going to change.”

Ukraine bans Russia’s Eurovision 2017 singer Yulia Samoylova from entering country over link to Crimea

Julia Samoylova at Eurovision 2018?

Julia’s optimism may reflect the fact that Russia’s First Channel and VGTRK (RTR), the country’s second national broadcaster, issued a joint statement today making it clear that she will have her moment in the sun.

They have agreed that Julia will sing at Eurovision 2018 regardless of which network broadcasts the show. This assumes, of course, that Ukraine does not win this year.

Ukraine’s decision to block her entry to the country has sparked international headlines and prompted a wave of criticism.

Jon Ola Sand, the Head of Life Events at the European Broadcasting Union, said the decision went against “both the spirit of the contest and the notion of inclusivity that lies at the heart of its values.”

He also re-iterated the EBU’s hope that all contestants will be allowed to enter the country.

Russia: Julia Samoilova travels to Finland for medical treatment and rehabilitation ahead of Eurovision

Criticism, of course, cuts many ways. You only need to read through the comments section of our original post to see that.

Some of our readers have criticised the EBU for not coming down hard enough on Ukraine, whose actions they find insensitive and counter to this year’s theme “Celebrate Diversity”. Still others have accused Russia of deliberately engineering this scenario — choosing a disabled singer who they knew had violated the laws of Ukraine — in order to embarrass Ukrainian officials on the international stage.

No matter where our readers stand on these various issues, they’ll likely agree that Eurovision 2017 has devolved into one of the most politically-charged of all-time. And there’s still two months left to run.