The EBU has denied reports in the Russian press that the contest is being moved to Berlin and that discussions about Yulia’s ban have ended.
Dave Goodman from the EBU has responded to reports in the Russian press today that stated that the competition is to be moved to Berlin. Life.ru reported earlier today that two pranksters called the Director General of the EBU posing as the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, in the conversation it is reported that the Director General of the EBU stated that Berlin is being prepared as a back up host for the contest. A recording of the two pranksters conversation is expected to be released later today.
Mr Goodman confirmed that the European Broadcasting Union remains committed to hosting the contest in Ukraine and continues to work with the host broadcaster UA:PBC. Mr Goodman was also asked by TASS the Russian News Agency about the current situation surrounding the banning of Yulia Samoilova. Mr Goodman stated that there will be further messages in the next few days from the European Broadcasting Union.
Yulia Samoilova was banned from entering Ukraine on March 22 following a decision by the SBU that she had breached Ukrainian law. The EBU responded the following day by suggesting that Yulia could perform remotely in Moscow. The proposal was rejected by Channel One who stated they did not want the rules changed for them, while Ukraine insisted that the proposal would reject existing rules.
The Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest has since gone on to propose that Ukraine only enforce the ban after the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 has been held in May. Mr Sand’s comments have been followed by statements of disappointment and anger from EBU members at the way the competition is being used for political means by both Ukraine and Russia.
At the end of last week a letter from the Director General of the EBU to the Ukrainian Prime Minister was leaked in the Ukrainian press. Within the letter the Director General stated Ukraine risked being sanctioned by the EBU for the ruling and that a number of countries are considering from withdrawing from this years contest in Ukraine.