Last weekend Swiss newspaper Sonntagsblick suggested that the EBU might exclude Ukraine from future Eurovision events if it upholds its ban on Russia’s Eurovision 2017 singer Julia Samoylova.
And today the news was confirmed when Ukraine’s Kiev Vlast leaked the strongly worded letter that EBU chief Ingrid Deltenre sent to Ukraine’s Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman.
The letter, which you can read in full by clicking on the images below, is dated March 23 — one day after Ukrainian security services announced their three-year ban on the Russian singer.
The leak will do much to re-establish the credibility of the EBU, who were initially criticised for not taking a tough public stance against Ukraine. It appears that they were trying to broker peace behind-closed-doors before launching a public rebuttal.
The EBU has confirmed to wiwibloggs that the letter is authentic.
EBU: Ingrid Deltenre’s full letter to Ukraine’s Prime Minister
“Should this ban be confirmed by your office, it would certainly have a very big negative impact on Ukraine’s international reputation as a modern, democratic European nation,” Deltenre writes. “Needless to say that we are also very concerned for the damage this will inflict on the Eurovision Song Contest and the European Broadcasting Union.”
“No previous host country has prevented an artist performing at the Eurovision Song Contest and the EBU would not like a precedent to be set in 2017. We consider the current ban of the Russian singer as unacceptable. As a consequence the UAPBC might be excluded from future events.”
Will other countries withdraw?
She also says that the situation has upset member broadcasters within the EBU.
Deltenre writes that they “have received communication from a number of them criticizing the decision” and that they are “considering to withdraw from the event.”
No EBU members have come out publicly to say they may withdraw from this year’s contest over Ukraine’s actions.