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Ukraine: SBU Investigating All Participants For Crimean Links

The SBU, the Ukrainian Security Services are investigating all participants as to whether they have visited Crimea while under Russian control.

In an interview with 112, Elena Gitlyanskaya a spokesperson for the SBU confirmed that all of the participants in this years Eurovision Song Contest are being investigated with regards to any travel or performances in Crimea. The interview followed allegations in the Russian media that Artsvik from Armenia has visited Crimea, a claim that has yet to be confirmed.

The spokesperson stated that:

We are trying to check everyone who is planning to come to Ukraine in order to not have any questions, but you know, we come to a very large number (of visitors and participants), and perhaps we can not physically check all, but if there are any the signals, then of course, this information cannot be ignored.

The investigations come as the SBU ruled yesterday that Yulia Samoilova the Russian participant is banned from visiting Ukraine for three years. The singer was banned from visiting Ukraine following a performance in 2015 in the city of Kerch in Crimea. Her performance directly breaks an existing law regarding travel to Crimea without legal entry via Ukraine.

There is no precedent in the 62 year history of the Eurovision Song Contest for the participant of another country being banned from the host country’s territory. It is yet to be seen if Russia will compete in this years Eurovision Song Contest, however it appears very unlikely that the country will now attend the contest in the Ukrainian Capital.

Earlier this week the Armenian national broadcaster stated that they had not been informed regarding any investigation into Artsvik. The story which first surfaced over a month ago and gained traction again at the start of the week, has reportedly been challenged by the singers sister who stated that Artsvik has never traveled to Crimea.

Source: 112

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