On Friday Ukrainian media leaked a letter from the head of the EBU to Ukraine’s Prime Minister, in which she lambasted Ukraine’s decision to ban Julia Samoylova from Eurovision, writing that the move would have a “very big impact on Ukraine’s international reputation as a modern, democratic European nation.”
And on Saturday a defiant Ukraine snapped back as the Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine Vyacheslav Kyrylenko released a YouTube video re-affirming Russia’s existing position.
“The Russian participant Julia Samoylova, unfortunately, has violated Ukrainian legislation performing in the annexed Crimea,” he says in the video, which was uploaded to his press service’s YouTube account.
“Ukraine, when it comes to the Crimea, bases its point of view on decisions of all international organisations, and no international organisation in the world has recognised the annexation of Crimea. We’re defending not only our Ukrainian legislation, but we also adhere to the norms of the international law and defend the status of this international law in Ukraine.”
He made it clear that the ban is not on Russia, but rather its singer.
“I can reiterate that Russia can take part in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 in Kyiv, but only if there is a participant who has not violated Ukrainian legislation. I think that France, Germany, Great Britain, Poland or any other member of the European Broadcasting Union would have taken the same decision.”
“It is unprecedented and unacceptable to demand unprecedented decisions from Ukraine in favour of Russia and in violation of our own legislation and, by the way, the norms of the international law.”
The Vice Prime Minister made assurances that if Russia fields another act — who has not violated its laws — that Ukraine will treat the Russian delegation as any other, affording them the same reception and security services. He also made it clear they are prepared to stage Eurovision with 42 acts instead of 43.