According to Pavlo Shylko, the Spokesperson for Eurovision 2017, it is 90% probable that Russia will not attend the Heads of Delegation Meeting in Kyiv.
In an interview with Ukrinform, with the newly appointed spokesperson for Eurovision 2017, Pavlo Shylko, it was confirmed that there is 90% probability that the Russian delegation will not attend the two-day Heads of Delegation in Kyiv, Ukraine. Mr Shylko states that the delegation has not booked any accommodation for the meetings which are held between March 12 and March 13.
The rules of the Eurovision Song Contest state that should Russia withdraw from competing in this years Eurovision Song Contest, Channel One remains liable to pay 100% of their fee for participating. This is due to the country having opted to withdraw after the deadline at which all countries must have made a final decision about competing.
Should Russia opt to withdraw from the Eurovision Song Contest at this stage, they would be the latest withdrawing country from the contest since Lebanon in 2005. Lebanon withdrew from the contest on March 18, 8 days after the Heads of Deegation meeting was held. The Lebanese broadcaster withdrew following their decision not to guarantee the broadcast of the Israeli performance at that year’s contest in Kyiv, Ukraine.
The only country since Lebanon to withdraw after the final deadline was Armenia in 2012, who withdrew from the contest in Azerbaijan citing security concerns. At the time the European Broadcasting Union imposed a fine on the broadcaster of their participation fee plus 50%, as well as broadcasting all three shows of that year’s contest without interruptions.
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Russia debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994 and has gone on to be one of the most successful countries in the contest. Since the mid-00s Russia has had a string of strong results including their first and only victory to date in 2008. Dima Bilan won the contest in Belgrade, Serbia with the song “Believe” taking the contest to Moscow the following year. In the past two years Russia has finished in 2nd and 3rd place respectively in the final.