The Director General of the European Broadcasting Union, Ingrid Deltenre has given her first public comments on the banning of Yulia Samoilova from Ukraine.
Ingrid Deltenre the Director General of the European Broadcasting Union has spoken to the Swiss Newspaper, Blick about the situation surrounding Ukraine’s decision to ban Yulia Samoilova from entering the country. Yulia Samoilova was banned a week ago from entering Ukraine for a period of three years by the Ukrainian Security Services. Yulia was found to have entered Crimea by a non-Ukrainian border post, breaching Ukrainian law.
Mrs Deltenre told Blick that:
This behavior of Ukraine is absolutely unacceptable.
Mrs Deltenre in her role as the Director General of the EBU is in discussions with both the President and Prime Minister of Ukraine to try and reach a “satisfactory situation”. It has been suggested by the Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest that the EBU will push for the ban to only come into effect after the Eurovision Song Contest to ensure that Yulia can still compete in person in Kyiv.
The Director General added her voice to a number of other EBU officials and members of national broadcasters in expressing her disappointment in the way the Eurovision Song Contest is being used. She told Blick that:
I deeply regret the fact that the ESC is being abused for political action. The Eurovison Song Contest is supposed to delight and bring together millions of people; it must not be used to incite them against each other.
According to Blick if a solution cannot be found then the EBU will be placing sanctions against Ukraine including a temporary exclusion from the contest. This has yet to be confirmed or mentioned in any previous reporting on the situation and if so could see Ukraine become only the third country ever banned from the contest. In 2009 Georgia was banned from the contest for not replacing their entry which included political references, while in 2005 Lebanon was banned for three years for failing to guarantee the broadcast of the Israeli performance.