The European Broadcasting Union will work with the Ukrainian authorities to discuss the issues surrounding the “Black list” of Russian artists.
Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, Jon Ola Sand has stated that the EBU will be working with the Ukrainian Government surrounding the issue of “Black list” artists from Russia. The “Black list” was setup by Ukrainian authorities following the annexation of Crimea, the individuals on the list are deemed a threat to Ukrainian security. Mr Ola Sand told the Russian Press Agency that:
We’re aware of these issues and we have been and will be in a constructive dialogue with the authorities to ensure that all delegates and artists can come and stay in Ukraine.
The Director General of the host broadcaster, NTU stated:
Eurovision is an international competition, it is about the world of music and songs.
The issue of “Black list” artists returned to the forefront of the Russian news yesterday following comments by the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture, at the reveal of the host city for Eurovision 2017. Mr Nyschuk stated that if Russian selected an artist who was on the “Black list” they would be refused entry to Ukraine.
One artist who was mentioned by Mr Nyschuk was Iosif Kobzon. Mr Kobzon is one of 80 individuals on the “Black list” and has been an outspoken critic of the Eurovision Song Contest. Iosif has stated that he does not wish to participate in the contest next year in Ukraine, but has proposed the establishment of another contest instead of Eurovision.
To date Russia has not officially stated whether they will be competing in next years Eurovision Song Contest in Ukraine. There have been calls from within the country for Russia to boycott the contest in Ukraine, due to Jamala’s victory in the contest in May.