Yulia Samoilova will represent Russia at Eurovision 2018 if Ukraine does not reverse their decision to ban the singer from the country.
RTR and Channel One the two broadcasters in charge of Russian participation in the Eurovision Song Contest have responded to the decision today to ban Yulia Samoilova from Ukraine. Today the Ukrainian Security Agency ruled that Yulia cannot enter Ukraine for the next three years. The decision was taken following a performance in 2015 by the singer in Kerch, Crimea.
It has yet to be confirmed by the Russian Broadcaster Channel One or the European Broadcasting Union whether Russia will still compete in this years Eurovision Song Contest. The EBU released a statement earlier stating that:
It has been confirmed to the EBU that the Ukrainian authorities have issued a travel ban on the Russian artist chosen for the Eurovision Song Contest, Julia Samoylova, as she has been judged to have contravened Ukrainian law by entering Crimea in order to perform.
We have to respect the local laws of the host country, however we are deeply disappointed in this decision as we feel it goes against both the spirit of the Contest, and the notion of inclusivity that lies at the heart of its values.
We will continue a dialogue with the Ukrainian authorities with the aim of ensuring that all artists can perform at the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv in May.
Yulia was internally selected by Channel One to perform the song “Flame Is Burning” in Kyiv. Her participation in this years contest was announced a day before the Head of Delegations Meeting in the Ukrainian Capital, following weeks of speculation as to whether Russia would compete in Ukraine.
27-year-old Yulia Samoilova is from Ukhta in the Komi Republic. She took part in the Winter Olympic Opening Ceremony in 2014 and was the runner-up in the 2013 Russian version of the X Factor. Whilst taking part in the X Factor she was coached by Alla Pugacheva who represented the country at the contest in 1997.
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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.