It’s been the ongoing drama of Eurovision 2017 and it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop any time soon. Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group chairman Frank-Dieter Freiling has told German media that it is likely that both the Ukraine and Russian broadcasters will have sanctions brought against them — and that could mean a ban for up to three years.

Speaking to Heute, Freiling explained that the Ukraine host broadcaster had committed to welcoming all EBU guests — including Eurovision acts — to Kyiv, but they had failed to do this with Russia’s act. Freiling explained, “From the Ukrainian point of view the legal situation is clear, but from the EBU perspective it is still a violation of the statutes.” And, he went on, violations of the statutes must be sanctioned.

And the Russian broadcaster isn’t getting off scot-free. They didn’t show up to the compulsory HoD meetings earlier in the year — another statute violation that the reference group intends to sanction.

The reference group will discuss the matter of both Ukraine and Russia at their meeting next week. Then a formal notice will be made at the reference group meeting on 12 June.

But what form will the sanctions take? Freiling did not want to speculate, but he did discuss the options available. “Our statutes provide for a number of violations, from a fine, the withdrawal of sponsor’s funding, to a suspension of up to three years.

Jon Ola Sand is optimistic

Jon Ola Sand: optimistic

A three-year ban could mean that we might not see Russia and Ukraine at Eurovision until 2021. But Eurovision Executive Supervisor and reference group member Jon Ola Sand is more optimistic.

Earlier this week he told Norwegian media that he expected Russia would be back at Eurovision 2018.

Speaking to Aftenposten, Sand said “The Russian broadcaster is very sorry for this and has apologised for what happened. We have not received any reaction from the Russian authorities. This has not been a very big issue in the Russian media. We are therefore in a straightforward dialogue with the Russians, and I’m sure they will be with us again next year.”

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Charles
Charles
4 years ago

I’m fine with it …. let these 2 deal with their own dirty laundry outside of Eurovision and once they make amends or at least learn to respect each other … then we’ll embrace them better.

If I were Azerbaijan or Armenia … I’d be cautious too …

This is Eurovision, a musical show, not an excuse for egomaniac political power or the desperate need to gain attention for the wrong reasons … we already have the Kardashian playing that role …

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
4 years ago
Reply to  Charles

Hear-hear!

agherrera
agherrera
4 years ago
Reply to  Charles

Ukraine should absolutely be banned next year as a result of their belligerence. I think it is clear that Eurovision was set up to be above petty tit for tat politics and was supposed to bring people together for music and culture not to be a political legal battleground as Ukraine has turned this into. They knew Eurovision rules and if Ukrainian law is counter to those rules then the contest should not be allowed to be held in Ukraine, period! This is a purely political decision by Ukraine. Russia is guilty of violating EBU rules also by not broadcasting… Read more »

Yellowman
4 years ago

A fine for both countries would do good!!!

YoungsterJoey
YoungsterJoey
4 years ago

Not sure how this is the Ukrainian broadcaster’s fault if it was the Ukrainian government law enforcement that banned Julia.

Billy Loomis
Billy Loomis
4 years ago

Good news! It means other countries have a better shot.

Andrés Jakob
Andrés Jakob
4 years ago

It’s a really sad thing all this! Greetings from Iceland

Marcus
Marcus
4 years ago
Reply to  Andrés Jakob

Hey Iceland can you guys please bring back Silvia Night, she was the best thing ever!!!! This contest badly needs her right now.

Catherine
Catherine
4 years ago

Ukraine break EBU’s rules and one of the mind – don’t let EBU’s member to take part. They must be ban for 3 years, or 1 yeare without a doubt. That’s justice, or why EBU ban Romania last year and Anton, just because of money debt? That’s much serious. Be consistent in decisions. Punishment must be as rigid as possible to exclude policy from the competition forever. And a fine for Russia/

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
4 years ago

But will 3 years be long enough for the war between them to end? If the EBU is serious about trying to promote peace, peace, love, love (which will never be achieved without solutions), I still say they should force Russia and Ukraine to sit out the contest until all hostilities between them come to an end. And that goes the same for any country in a state of war.

ks
ks
4 years ago
Reply to  CookyMonzta

For any country in state of war?
Then…how many thousand years do we have to wait for Israel ?

Marcus
Marcus
4 years ago
Reply to  CookyMonzta

Wow CookyMonzta, what an insanely stupid and absurd recommendation. Any country currently not getting along with another and in conflict is not allowed to be a part of Eurovision for that year. I am sure there will be countries laying down their weapons and settling delicate generational differences in an instant just so they can send their Xfactor winner to Eurovision that year 😀
Eurovision is supposed to unite, through music, not divide.

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
4 years ago
Reply to  Marcus

If it were any other country (including Israel, as per ks statement, because their situation isn’t nearly as hot), you’d have a point. But when last I checked, the conflict between RUS and UKR is so hot that they’d both be better off taking a break until things cool down.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
4 years ago
Reply to  CookyMonzta

@CookyMonzta: You just reminded me of this song, from the UK’s National Final: https://youtu.be/rC5yPyfaT3g
😀

Zebb
Zebb
4 years ago

Good to see they’re imitating some actions. EBU needs money, so they most likely will end up with fines for both sides.
However, after Julia’s decision to sing for staliniards, you see the borderline for EBU should end up after Poland since 2014. No to Russia, no to Ukraine, if you can’t force both to respect the contest values.

Ern
Ern
4 years ago

You know what Russia should have done?

They should have broadcast the contest AND voted, and then Yulia Samoylova should have been the one to announced the Russian vote.

Note that since Russia paid its EBU dues, they would have been entitled to vote. This is what happened with Serbia-Montenegro (before they split) back in 2006.

Geo
Geo
4 years ago

Russia have paid the participation fee, and because they don’t participate in 2017 that means they will in 2018 (no fee required). Same happened to Romania, because they were disqualified in 2016 (participation fee being paid last year) EBU said no participation fee required for this year (for Romania). Concerning Ukraine, they could get a ban from preventing Russia’s participation by not allowing the Russian delegation and their participant on their territory. Ukraine may be banned for 2018, everything’s possible. For now EBU is quiet, because Ukraine is the host country, but right after the contest I predict a meeting… Read more »

sorin
sorin
4 years ago

@Julie
quote ”Her going to Crimea is not proof of anything. Crimean is Russian to them, and so for them, it’s not any different than if I was to go to Florida or something as an American.”

i understand you are american, if you have russian origins, i respect your loyalty for russia, but if you think you are neutral, no, just no.
enjoy the english subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zk_VszbZa_s

Julieovich
Julieovich
4 years ago
Reply to  sorin

So touching that you seem to know so much about me :’) Indeed, you seem to know more than I do, as I don’t know much about my familial roots. To expand my knowledge, I’ll go ahead and take a 23andme test and send you the report for your approval/disapproval.

Thanks for the link, comrade. I’ll be sure to add it to the playlist I listen to every morning in front of my Putin shrine :’)

sorin
sorin
4 years ago
Reply to  Julieovich

florida is not crimea.
i’ve said IF IF IF IF IF you have russian origins, i can understand your soft spot for russia, but not if you think you know anything about what is really going on.

Julie
Julie
4 years ago
Reply to  sorin

Lol of course Florida is not Crimea. That statement was not meant to be taken literally…but to illustrate Russian perceptions about traveling to Crimea, an area they consider Russian. You have made several assumptions about me, including now accusing me of being uninformed. If you want to go down this route, I can cite sources from Pulitzer Prize winning, respected, independent journalists (meaning they don’t work for or represent or have connections to any government) if you want. And then maybe we will see who is the one who doesn’t know what is really going on?

Grete Paia
Grete Paia
4 years ago

I hope russia invade EBU and teach them lesson

Jr esc nl
Jr esc nl
4 years ago
Reply to  Grete Paia

??? You want russia to invade switzerland and start world war 3? You’re a special child

Julian
Julian
4 years ago
Reply to  Jr esc nl

Probably is means taking control of EBU by votes of its members. Is enough to move its leadership to countries like Germany, Austria which are less hostile to Russia.

Julian
Julian
4 years ago

“We have not received any reaction from the Russian authorities.” Why do they need reactions from them. Isn’t the contest not political? They say they have sanctions in their statuses. Since the wrongs were different most probably the sanctions will be too. More drama. Bans means not only EBU lose money from the fines they could apply but also lose participation fees which is considerably more money both Russia and Ukraine being big countries – and lose audience figures of course. What will also probably happen is they will not accept anymore political songs. But coming from the Eastern Europe,… Read more »

Nikos
Nikos
4 years ago

Hmmm, well I suspect that Mr. Ola Sand is thinking about that large Russian population watching the show = good for ratings.
But seriously, I think a simple fine to both broadcaster’s would be sufficiently fair. I don’t think this was worthy of a ban. But I think the EBU should learn from this, and should amend their rules to dissuade such behavior.

Chicken Kyiv???
Chicken Kyiv???
4 years ago

The EBU is completely spineless unless dealing with micronations like San Marino, so against Russia and Ukraine they will probably issue a small fine and tell everyone not to do it again… Until they inevitably do do it again.

This carry on between Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan has been on going in one form or another since 2008

Next year let’s celebrate the 10 years anniversary of Eurovision becoming the stage for former Soviet countries to air their dirty laundry and share with the world their grievances towards each other

Tusán
4 years ago

You do realize those countries you’ve just listed are in war with each other, right? It’s not Eastern Europe as a whole.

Chicken Kyiv???
Chicken Kyiv???
4 years ago
Reply to  Tusán

Nowhere did I mention eastern Europe or try to pretend it was anyone who else involved besides those 5 countries

Tusán
4 years ago

former Soviet countries = Eastern Europe

Bgc
Bgc
4 years ago

Wouldn’t like to see either country banned but I do think Russia should receive a fine for pulling out. They refused change their artist when given the opportunity to do so, so they should pay for that.

Ukraine should not be sanctioned – they are entitled to uphold their sovereign law, whether one agrees with it or not, and to not have it overridden by what the EBU wants.

blondboybc
blondboybc
4 years ago

Good to hear they are considering this. I’ve been arguing this since the whole drama began. Well, the EBU is likely to fine them and be done with it, but they really both need a time out for their political gamesmanship and infantile behaviour.
At least a year ban is in order! “Let’s do this!”

blondboybc
blondboybc
4 years ago

A year ban is in order, but they’ll likely just fine them both and be done with it. Personally, I think both need a time out for their political games! Peace.

I love the monkey
4 years ago

No en España no hay ningún drama,simplemente no aprobamos como se hizo la preseclecion. Para eso vivimos en un país democrático, que exije transparencia.Drama es otra cosa.

Barry Csosta
Barry Csosta
4 years ago

Hopefully the rules of the contest will be revised to make it clear that you shouldn’t select a criminal as your representative.

Barry Csosta
Barry Csosta
4 years ago

Has Lazarev been to Crimea? I thought he came out against the annexation – unlike Julia who has actively promoted the occupation on social media.

ESC84
ESC84
4 years ago
Reply to  Barry Csosta

Seriously, do you understand Eurovision is non-polictical. Whether a singer oppose or support Russia annexation/rule in Crimea should not has anything to do with Eurovision. Where is freedom of speech?

Tusán
4 years ago
Reply to  ESC84

Except if the contest is held in Ukraine cause it’s against the law to support the annexation publicly there. You just have to rexpect the laws, man, Eurovision is not above them.

jj
jj
4 years ago

Maybe Russia should quit altogether like Turkey has. I’ve read today that Russia has just lifted all sanctions off Turkey. They could start their own song contest and invite others to eventually rival Eurovision.

Tusán
4 years ago
Reply to  jj

They already have their own song contest, it’s called Türkvizion.

Stephen Podesta
Stephen Podesta
4 years ago

Don’t blame Ukraine or Russia, it was EBU that allowed that politically charged 1944 from Ukraine and broke there own rules, which started all this. When they found out that it was sang in public 2 years before and Ukraine tried to hide the fact by deleting the evidence form youtube, they should of taken that trophy from them and given it to the rightful winners Australia.

Escuk
Escuk
4 years ago

3 years ban for ukraine plz, russia is dirty too, but they know how play under the water, ukraine needs to learn a lesson. This could be one of the worst esc ever, drama started on spain and continue in ukraine.

beccaboo1212
4 years ago

The more controversy there is, the more Euro Drama. Yikes! 🙁

Americanvision
Americanvision
4 years ago

Give them hefty fines and call it a day. I’m so done with this drama. Even Mexican telenovelas is a lot more entertaining than this!

Alex
Alex
4 years ago

Russia and Ukraine should take a break for 2-3 years but i doubt EBU wants to miss Russia’s audience figures for that long considering that another big country like Turkey is already out.

Russia could have sent a different artist this year who did not violate the Ukrainian laws but they chose not to do it. Smart decision to pick this girl though as it gave them sympathy. Pathetic though as they used her as a puppet.

jj
jj
4 years ago
Reply to  Alex

Ukraine could have just allowed her to sing. It’s not like she’s a danger to anyone.

Adam
Adam
4 years ago
Reply to  jj

Ukraine is no under no obligation to break its own laws, meanwhile Russia has every obligation to follow the laws of the other country

Marcus
Marcus
4 years ago

There has been an underlying Anti-Russian sentiment in this competition for years. They’ve been booed. Jamala’s song shouldn’t have even been allowed as it breaks competition rules of political lyrics. Yet it was allowed because it was anti-Russian (and that is in fashion in this competition), and not only allowed, the select jury who are also inclined in this way threw their weight behind it to victory, despite Lazarev being the true people’s champion. The ‘rainbow flag’ community of this competition are hypocrites as they say celebrate diversity and ‘all’ people coming together to enjoy music, yet turn a blind… Read more »

Azaad
Azaad
4 years ago
Reply to  Marcus

Well I’d say it’s a small payback for Putin’s terrible policies.

xoxofinlandxoxo
xoxofinlandxoxo
4 years ago
Reply to  Marcus

maybe if russia would actually let LGBT people exist peacefully without chance of imprisonment or death, these things wouldnt happen. *sips drink*

Marcus
Marcus
4 years ago

You just proved my point. That “because Russia are this way, we do this and they deserve it” all because they are different. The hypocrisy of the ‘Rainbow Flag’ community is laughable. “Celebrate diversity”, “music that unites us”.. wait, that country has a religion and leader and policies we don’t agree with, let’s boo, berate and not stand up and say something when they are unfairly banned from the competition. Hypocrites.

Jr esc nl
Jr esc nl
4 years ago
Reply to  Marcus

The boo wasn’t even about the lgbt community. If russia hadn’t created such a media storm with crimea there would have been a 100% chance of russia receiving applause like in all the years before. Also i’m quite sure there is a massive amount of lgbt fans who have spoken out against the booing… I don’t hate all russians (except maybe all czechnyans) but i do hate your government a lot like i do with many countries.

Marcus
Marcus
4 years ago
Reply to  Jr esc nl

Ha, I’m not even Russian! I’m Australian. I’m not saying all this out of patriotism, I’m saying this because anyone from any country can see this! It’s so plain to see such hypocrisy. “Celebrate diversity” let “music unite us” not just countries we agree with all their policies and like their leaders.

Skimur
Skimur
4 years ago
Reply to  Marcus

So you think that when, due to Russia’s actions, Ukraine was forced to miss one year, it was fair. And when Russia missed the year because its competitor violated the law of Ukraine and they refused to replace it – it is unfair? When Russian fans use obscene language during the announcement of the results – this is normal, and when other fans are booing in protest against the crimes of Russia – it is hypocrisy? May be it`s you hypocrite…

Ern
Ern
4 years ago

Also, one more thing: we know that Ukraine won the contest largely because of a political/sympathy vote.

Further, the EBU looked the other way when it was discovered that Jemalla’s song had already been in existence for a full year before the contest. There was that tape of her singing it in concert, which really should have disqualified her.

Marcus
Marcus
4 years ago
Reply to  Ern

Hmm.. I wonder why Russia didnt do well with the jury. I really really wonder…

AndersP
AndersP
4 years ago
Reply to  Marcus

Because the song sounded like it was written in 2008 and had the immortal lyrics, “thunder and lightening, it’s getting exciting”. Amazing stage performance, dated music, lyrics as dodgy as an Adam West Batman script.

Marcus
Marcus
4 years ago
Reply to  AndersP

and how about we take a look at Jamala’s lyrics now.. which clearly broke competition rules, being so political. But no hey let’s just turn a blind eye to that yeah 😀

AndersP
AndersP
4 years ago
Reply to  Marcus

I didn’t dispute that at all (in fact I’m inclined to agree), I just pointed out why the juries may not have rated Russia as much as the public vote

Marcus
Marcus
4 years ago
Reply to  AndersP

OR, more plausible, that these juries as you’d expect are loaded with Rainbow Flag warrriors not too keen to give Russia many votes. Just stating the obvious here. As a neutral.

Vlad
Vlad
4 years ago
Reply to  Ern

Exactly this! Even Russian televote has given 10 points to Ukraine.

Catherine
Catherine
4 years ago
Reply to  Ern

You can like, or dislike Jamala’s song, but it was political! It wsa a clear provocation, and it was a big mistake from EBU let her to participate. This song break Eurovision’s rules. Rules must be the same for everybody!

Ern
Ern
4 years ago

Let’s be honest. This is really the EBU’s fault. The Ukrainian broadcaster was already making provocative statements last year BEFORE Jemalla won the contest. Thus, the EBU should have gotten assurances from the Ukrainian authorities that Russian acts would be welcome, regardless of who they sent. Note: back in 2008, the EBU flew to Serbia to get assurances that the contest could be held safely in Belgrade. That was when Kosovo declared its independence, so they wanted to be sure the contest could still happen and ALL delegations would be welcome (especially the Albanian one). So, why did they not… Read more »

Mattias Sollerman
Mattias Sollerman
4 years ago
Reply to  Ern

They didn’t? Can you give a source?

Sparrow
Sparrow
4 years ago

Correct me if I’m wrong but I thought it was the Ukrainian government who said Julia was banned, not the broadcaster?
Let’s be honest, it would be the same for any country if someone broke their law.
So it doesn’t seem fair for the Ukrainian broadcaster to suffer because of an issue that was out of their hands.

Justin K.
4 years ago

I think the EBU has more to lose with banning the two countries than fining them. They’re both fan favorite countries (most times), and usually have great production value that bring up the level of ESC. I honestly think they’re not gonna give them both more than a slap on the wrist for the debacle, especially because the situation itself had many more (smaller) issues and nuances that makes straight-forward judging the overall issue difficult. The EBU would be best fining them both the same amount since they really shouldn’t be taking sides (as they have with the situation as… Read more »

Pant7
Pant7
4 years ago

I hope they ban both countries, if they ban only one, it would be seen as they are taking part.

Joe
Joe
4 years ago

There will be no ban and they will settle this thing. Both countries will be participating in 2018.
EBU don’t want more controversies, neither do we.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
4 years ago

I just think EBU wants to show they take their rules seriously, in the end both Russia and Ukraine will get nothing but a small fee…

positively
positively
4 years ago

The fact that this singer is going to Crimea to sing in another nationalistic circumstances is a proof of Russian manipulation. I have appreciated Russian entries in Eurovision, but spreading politics in that contest should carry the consequences. Besides, have you seen comments on Youtube from Russian fans? They are disgusting. And I’m not Ukrainian by the way, just an observer.
Ukraine, do not lost your attitude!

Julie
Julie
4 years ago
Reply to  positively

Her going to Crimea is not proof of anything. Crimean is Russian to them, and so for them, it’s not any different than if I was to go to Florida or something as an American.

Oh and have you seen YouTube comments from Ukrainian fans? I’ve seen some pretty awful ones. Heck, how about YouTube comments from any fan of any country? Those type of comments come from around the world, and are especially prevalent on places like YouTube. Not especially fair to single out one country or judge an entire fan base in that way.

positively
positively
4 years ago
Reply to  Julie

I’m not a specialist in Ukrainian constitutional law, but is it enough to seperate from a country because of the general poll that was held by Russian citizens/the Russian minority? I would like to see if any other country would accept that kind of situation without any reaction. Besides, Russia has been playing with Europe for years and choosing Julia was one sign of their strategy. I totally understand that it should be fun, there’s no place for politics in Eurovision, but sorry honey, sometimes you can’t run away from. It’s funny how Europeans, especially the western ones, was screaming… Read more »

Julie
Julie
4 years ago
Reply to  positively

It depends. Does self-determination mean nothing? Will you force the majority of a population to return against their will, opening up the way for more war? Does Crimea answer to a Ukrainian government that was illegal and illegitimate according to its own constitution in what is known as the “most obvious coup in history”? “Russia has been playing with Europe for years…” And Europe/the West has been playing with Russia for years. This is a 2-way relationship, though I would argue that in this case the West has been the aggressor in pushing Russia into a corner, and Russia’s actions… Read more »

Elogé
Elogé
4 years ago
Reply to  Julie

You speak pretty good English to be a Russian troll pretending to be American. Nice try, though.

Julie
Julie
4 years ago
Reply to  Elogé

Only “pretty good”?? Alas, your comment has cost me a whole week’s worth of food ration cards, which has been confiscated by my supreme troll factory supervisor overlord commissar. Oh the shame of failing to convince a random stranger on the interweb of my Americanness :'(

Tusán
4 years ago
Reply to  Julie

Oh dear, you clearly have no clue on what’s going on here in Europe then.

positively
positively
4 years ago
Reply to  Tusán

Pardon? I have an idea what is going on in European politics, that’s why I do not apreciate hypocrisy of some nations based partially in Europe. The international law is simple… if you come to a contry, you have to follow the letter of its law. There’s no fault on a Ukrainan side, legally of course. And btw, Julia’s song is dated and boirng so we did not lose a lot from her withdrawal. Enjoy today’s rehearsal and forget about Russian drama.