The Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine has stated he has no hope of seeing a compromise with Russia over Yulia Samoilova’s participation.
The Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister, Vyacheslav Kyrylenko has given an interview to the Ukrainian Newspaper Obozrevatel with regards to Eurovision 2017 preparations. Within the interview the Deputy Prime Minister has stated that he sees “no hope” of Russia changing their participant, however that the country remains open to a Russian singer who has not broken Ukrainian law. His comments come after a week without any public signs of progress over the banning of Yulia Samoilova.
Yulia Samoilova was banned on March 22 from entering Ukraine for a period of three years. The singer was found to have broken the law by entering Crimea via a non-Ukrainian border post. 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.
The Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister has gone on to state that he does not feel that Ukraine has fallen into Russia’s trap by retaliating by banning Yulia. He states that there was a general feeling that Russia would not compete in Kyiv and that Russia is looking for a way in which to harm Ukraine. When asked about what the ban means, it was suggested by Mr Kyrylenko that Russia may be offered the ability to vote without participating in the contest as seen with Serbia at Eurovision 2006.
Mr Kyrylenko continued to state that there is a risk of Russian provocation at Eurovision regardless of whether they compete in Kyiv or not. The Deputy Prime Minister went on to outline false information about the contest being moved to Berlin, as well as rumors of issues around the preparations for the contest. The Deputy Prime Minister added that Kyiv is ready and that preparations are well underway at the venue and across the city for this May’s contest.
There has yet to be any announcement from the European Broadcasting Union, Ukrainian Authorities or Channel One Russia as to whether Russia will still compete next month in Kyiv, Ukraine.